National Recitation Contest

Poetry Out Loud logo

Each year, the SCAC joins national partners to bring Poetry Out Loud to South Carolina high school students.

The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud with the help of statewide arts partners like the SCAC in all 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

South Carolina partner

Richland Library logo





The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance. Visit the Poetry Out Loud website by clicking here.

In 2018, Janae Claxton of Charleston was the first South Carolina student to win the National Poetry Out Loud competition! Read more on The Hub.

Poetry Out Loud 2023/2024

Two tracks. One competition.

To best serve as many South Carolina students as possible, Poetry Out Loud offers school/organization registration (for schools or organizations and their students, in-person competitions) and individual student registration (a live virtual competition) for those whose school/organization is not participating or are homeschooled.

**Registration deadline for both tracks is Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. **

Additional information

2022/2023 State Finalists

Six young women stand shoulder to shoulder with arms draped around each other on the indoor stage of the Richland Library Main Branch.

Photo by Thomas Maluck. Click image to enlarge.

A new structure for the 2022/2023 competition blended the traditional, in-person approach with the more recent virtual competitions caused by the pandemic. Schools who registered held in-person competitions locally while individual students who registered performed virtually in front of judges who named finalists.

The finalists this year come from Charleston, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg. Pictured left to right above:

  • Meenakshi Balachandran, senior, Calvary Christian School (Myrtle Beach)
  • Ella McCall, sophomore, Ashley Hall (Charleston)
  • Catherine Wooten, junior, Westgate Christian School (Spartanburg)
  • Jessie Leitzel, junior, Charleston County School of the Arts (Charleston)
  • Eve Decker, freshman, Spartanburg Day School (Spartanburg)
  • Emily Allison, junior, Fine Arts Center (Greenville), the 2021 and 2022 state champion

Congratulations to these state finalists!

I’m here to help!

For assistance or more information, please contact Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Bonita Peeples (803.734.8692 |