High school students in Lake County are invited to compete in Lake County’s school and countywide competitions. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud™ in partnership with counties and local partners all across the United States. This national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence, while also learning more about both classic and contemporary poetry.

Any Lake County High School student currently enrolled in grades 9–12 is eligible to compete, whether enrolled in a public, private, alternative, or homeschool. No student may be excluded from participating in Poetry Out Loud on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

During the Fall and Winter of 2021, schools are invited to hold classroom and school-wide contests, with students advancing to a county competition in early 2022. Non-school organizations, such as after-school clubs, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, may also choose to run Poetry Out Loud. Students may only compete in one stream—either with their school or an organization. More information is available at, including guidelines for conducting the competition in-person or virtually. The County champion will move on to represent our county in the State competition for a chance to advance to the national finals, which are planned to take place in Washington, DC, April 26-27, 2022, and where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. “All of the student competitors demonstrate their openness to the power of poetry and their commitment to developing skills that allow them to share that power with those around them,” said Michelle T. Boone, Poetry Foundation president.

As part of Poetry Out Loud, the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials—all available online—which teachers may choose to use in their classrooms. These include an online poetry anthology containing more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters, and video and audio on the art of poetry recitation. Schools are welcome to access these resources at High schools and organizations that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must contact Georgina Marie, Lake County Poetry Out Loud Coordinator by December 1st, 2021 to participate. Georgina Marie and the Lake County Arts Council will work with interested schools and organizations to include them in the official Poetry Out Loud program.

Poetry Out Loud offers school, county, and state-level awards and prizes. Each state champion will receive $200 and will advance to the national championship, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements for the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit or

For questions, additional materials, and guidelines, and to confirm participation, contact Georgina Marie at We’re excited to work with our students, teachers, and school administrators for this program!

Georgina Marie

Georgina Marie is a poet from Lakeport, Northern California and the Lake County Poet Laureate for 2020-2024; the first Mexican-American and youngest to serve in this role for the county. In June 2021, she was selected as a Poets Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets. She is the Literary Coordinator and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator for the Lake County Arts Council, co-creator of the The Bloom's poetry column, and Poet in Residence for The Bloom. She has served as co-editor for the Middletown Art Center’s RESILIENCE and RESTORE collections of written word, funded by the California Arts Council. As part of the Broken Nose Collective, an annual chapbook exchange, she created her first poetry chapbook Finding the Roots of Water in 2018 and her second chapbook Tree Speak in 2019. In 2020, she was an Anne G. Locasio scholar for the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference and is now a member of their Board of Directors. She is currently working on her full-length poetry manuscript.


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