For immediate release                                                                                                               Contact: Sheila Walk

February 4, 2019                                                                                                                                217-753-3519

In the temper and the tantrum, in the well-kept arboretum

I am waiting, like an animal,

For poetry.

By Katy Lederer, “That Everything’s Inevitable” from The Heaven-Sent Leaf (2008)

The Springfield Area Arts Council will host the Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Contest on Wednesday, February 13, at 4:00 P.M. in Theatre Three at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.  There is no admission cost, and all are welcome.

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest in which students test their skills of oration and interpretation through poetry.  Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the state arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Since the pilot program in 2005, more than 3,000,000 students, 10,000 high schools, and 50,000 teachers have participated in Poetry Out Loud nationwide.  [Source:  National Endowment for the Arts]

In Poetry Out Loud, teenagers select, analyze, and commit to memory classic and contemporary poems for recitation.  Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to one of eight regional competitions in Illinois, then to the state tournament, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D. C.

The Springfield Area Arts Council partners with the Illinois Arts Council Agency to bring this program to central Illinois.  This year, 11 area high schools, 35 teachers, and 1,395 students are participating.


Decatur:  Eisenhower High School

Eureka:  Eureka High School

Franklin:  Franklin High School

Pawnee:  Pawnee High School

Peoria:  Quest Charter Academy

Rochester:  Rochester High School

Springfield:  Lutheran High School; Sacred Heart-Griffin High School; Southeast High School; Springfield High School

Teutopolis:  Teutopolis Community High School