Poetry Out Loud at Farragut High School


This year, Farragut High School is participating in Poetry Out Loud, a national competition in which students attempt to passionately recite poems with the hopes of winning prize money. Students will recite poems from memory; first competing locally and then in the national finals if they qualify.

Dean Longmire, a student who participated in the Farragut Friday video highlighting this event, offered his take on the prizes, saying “The first place winner receives a $20,000 reward, the second winner earns $10,000 and third place wins $5,000. I think it’s definitely worth it for students to participate if they’re passionate about poetry, especially since there is such a large prize pool.”

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On top of the prize money for the top three students, places fourth-12th receive $1000, and each state winner gains $200. Additionally, the runner-up for each state will gain $100. After competing in school and local competitions, contestants will participate in state finals, and those winners will compete in Washington, DC from April 27-29 for the national finals. To have a chance at these prizes, students must memorize an eligible poem. Eligible poems can be found on the Poetry Out Loud organization website, with more poems available on its printed anthology.

We spoke with Dr. Niles about Farragut High School’s involvement in the event; she stated “Students who are currently not enrolled in an English class can participate in the library competition, which will be held on Nov. 15.”

Poetry Out Loud has been hosting competitions since 2006, and many previous performances can be viewed online to give students an idea of what judges are looking for. The competition is limited to high schoolers and eighth graders participating in high school courses. The competition is also open to homeschooled students or students whose schools are not participating in Poetry Out Loud; one may attend a local school’s contest at the school’s discretion. More information can be found on the Poetry Out Loud website, and individuals can also ask Dr. Niles in the Red Wing and Ms. Matthews in the library. Several fliers can be found throughout the hallways as well. We encourage any students interested in this competition to participate and ask any questions. We hope to see you perform!