The annual National High School Poetry Recitation Contest – Poetry Out Loud – is about to celebrate its sixth year in Plumas County. The 2022 competition is set for Sunday January 30 in Quincy.
Although COVID may change plans for the competition, the current plan is to have the poems they choose to memorize recited in person at the Town Hall Theater or the Plumas Arts Gallery depending on the number of entrants.
The state competition in Sacramento which takes place each year in March will again be virtual this year, as will the national competition which usually takes place in April in Washington D.C.
All Plumas County high school students in grades 9-12 can enter the contest by reciting a poem from memory available on the Poetry Out Loud website. Each year, the number of entrants has grown steadily with nearly 30 in 2020 and 19 in 2021. Quincy High School students have won first place three of the past five years (Indian Valley Academy and Portola High School each won first place place one year.
So far for the 2022 competition, Quincy High School, Chester High School, Indian Valley Academy and Long Valley Charter have all indicated they will send students. Homeschooled and privately educated students are also eligible to compete.
Students will face a panel of three local judges who will assess how well they memorized the poem, as well as how well they understood the poem and could convey its meaning.
The first place winner wins $500 and becomes the county champion who then represents the county in the statewide competition; the second place winner takes home $300 and the third place winner $200.
The mission of the competition is to expose students to a wider variety of poets and poetry in the hope that these students will appreciate and enjoy having poetry in their lives. Common Core Standards for English align with the curriculum and lesson plans are available on the Poetry Out Loud website for use in the classroom.
Coaching is available throughout January via Zoom and in person for students planning to compete at the end of the month.
Students and teachers interested in the contest should check out the Poetry Out Loud YouTube page, where there are examples of how to recite best practice tips. Poems must be chosen from the Poetry Out Loud website https://www.poetryoutloud.org/ in order to be eligible for the contest.
This year’s teacher’s guide is only available on the website. Teachers, school administrators and homeschoolers interested in entering the competition this year should contact Margaret Elysia Garcia at [email protected].
Plumas Arts in partnership with the California Arts Council and the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts hosts this high school competition each year culminating in a national competition in April, which is also National Poetry Month.
The county champion will need to memorize two more poems to enter the statewide virtual competition.