Allentown Art Museum Announces Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest


Media Contact:
Megan Haddad
(610) 432-4333 extension 127
mhaddad [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org


For Immediate Release
January 30, 2012

Regional high school students to compete in national poetry recitation contest at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

Allentown, PA. — On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 starting at 6 p.m., area high school students will compete in the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley.  Students will compete from: Blue Mountain High School, Schuylkill Haven; Emmaus High School, Emmaus; Northwestern Lehigh High School, New Tripoli; Pleasant Valley High School, Brodheadsville; Liberty High School, Bethlehem; East Stroudsburg High School South, East Stroudsburg; Salisbury High School, Allentown; Stroudsburg High School, Stroudsburg.  The competition is free and open to the public.

Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.  Starting in the fall of 2011, schools in every region of Pennsylvania participated in classroom and school-wide contests.  The school winners advanced to regional competitions and those winners will advance to the state competition on March 26, 2012 in Harrisburg.  State champions will advance to the National Finals, to take place in April in Washington, D.C.  

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance.  The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth.  Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the classroom.  Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have each contributed funding towards the 2012 Poetry Out Loud program in support of materials, grants, prizes, and the National Finals in April.  Additionally, the NEA and the Poetry Foundation provided the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley with free, standards-based curriculum materials for use by participating schools.  These materials include print and online poetry anthologies, a program guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, and an audio CD featuring well-known actors and writers such as James Earl Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Alyssa Milano, and N. Scott Momaday.  Program materials are available for download on the Web site,, which offers additional resources.  

Poetry Out Loud Prizes
Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the National Finals, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.  Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship.  The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.  One runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library.  
For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit