Utah Arts & Museums invites all Utah secondary educators to encourage students to participate in Poetry Out Loud (POL). The state competition is presented by Utah Arts & Museums. Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that encourages students in grades 9-12 to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. The Utah champion will compete in Washington, D.C. at the national finals, April 28-29, 2015. Awards totaling $50,000 go to first-, second-, third-place and honorable-mention winners, as well as supporting the purchase of poetry books for represented schools. The Utah State Final Competition is at 7 p.m. March 11, 2015, at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.
In 2012, senior MarKaye Hassan of Logan High School competed against 53 state and territory champions. Hassan received the third-place prize and a $5,000 award, and was invited to return to Washington, D.C., to recite at the National Book Festival. In 2008, Skyline High School senior Madison Niermeyer also placed third at the national competition and received a $5,000 scholarship award. Niermeyer was contacted by noted Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti to congratulate her on her recitation of his poem “I Am Waiting.”