Words mean more than what is set down on paper.

It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.

Maya Angelou

The Springfield Area Arts Council will host the Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Contest on Thursday, 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 arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.  Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies.  Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands  [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, 10 area high schools, 22 teachers, and 1,133 students are participating.


Athens:  Athens High School

Decatur:  Eisenhower High School

Eureka:  Eureka High School

Franklin:  Franklin High School

Morton:  Morton High School

Pawnee:  Pawnee High School

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

                     Southeast High School; Springfield High School

More information available at www.poetryoutloud.org.