Okanogan High School student, Madeline Luther, 2019 Poetry Out Loud State Champion
As the Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Madeline Luther earned $200, a $500 stipend for purchase of poetry books for her school library, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud Finals. Photo by Pavel Verbovski.

Poetry Out Loud Regional and State Finals

How the Competition Works

After working with their students to select and practice poems, teachers hold a classroom-level recitation competition. The top classroom students move on to a school-wide competition.

The champions from each school advance to the regional level. Regional finals are held in six regions across the state, supported and coordinated by our regional partners. At regionals, students recite with other school champions from their area. The top students from these regional competitions compete in the Washington State Final. During all phases of the competition, the same evaluation criteria are used by all the judges.

All regional finals and the state final are free and open to the public.

Regional Finals Schedule

Thursday, January 30th at 7pm, Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Street, Burlington

Saturday, February 1st, Tacoma Little Theatre – 210 North I Street, Tacoma

  • Puget Sound Regional Final A: 10:00am – Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties
  • Puget Sound Regional Final B: 2:00pm – Clallam, Thurston, and King Counties

Wednesday, January 22nd at 5pm, ESD #112, 2500 NE 65th Ave, Vancouver

Sunday, January 26th at 1pm , Kendall Auditorium at Yakima Valley Community College, W Nob Hill Blvd & S 16th Ave, Yakima

Thursday, January 30th at 7pm, at the Downtown Spokane Library, 906 W Main Ave, Spokane

Thursday, January 23rd at 7pm, at Mid-Columbia Libraries- Kennewick
Branch, 1620 S Union, Kennewick

Washington State Final

The 2020 State Final will take place on Saturday, March 7th beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Tacoma at the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street.

The state champion receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals. The state champions’ school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

The runner-up in the state competition receives a $100 cash prize. Their school library receives a $200 cash prize.

National Finals champions receive a $25,000 scholarship and school stipends for poetry books. A total of $50,000 in prizes are awarded to the top students.

2018-19 State Final Videos

Madeline Luther’s reciting On Quitting by Edgar Albert Guest
Meliza Redulla, reciting Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy
Kianna Miller, reciting Megan Married Herself bCaroline Bird
Anneka Siems, reciting I Have a Time Machine by Brenda Shaughnessy
Kezia Thompson, reciting Friendship After Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Watch recitations by previous State Finalists

Contact us

For more information about this program, please send our Poetry Out Loud coordinator an email.