CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The 2019 West Virginia Poetry Out Loud (POL) state competition registration deadline is set for Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. All West Virginia public and private high schools and homeschool associations are encouraged to participate in the event, which is sponsored annually by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The statewide competition will be held at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston on March 1-2, 2019.

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest and free program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. The competition begins on a school-wide level, with the winners at each school advancing to the statewide competition. The POL curriculum is designed to meet state and national standards in language arts and reading.

Program materials include an online poetry anthology, teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters and audio-visual materials on the art of recitation. These materials can be found at where they can be downloaded, or the materials are available from the department.

In the 2017-2018 school year, 45 West Virginia high schools held Poetry Out Loud competitions. One hundred sixty-five teachers worked with 4,564 students at the local level. Forty-three finalists from the school competitions competed at the state event. Jordyn Marshall of Capital High School was selected the 2018 state champion. Marshall competed in the national event in Washington D.C.

To learn more about the program, receive the program materials and register for the state competition, visit or contact Jim Wolfe, program coordinator, at or 304-558-0240.

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