Poetry Out Loud® is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about literary history and contemporary life as well as compete for awards and scholarships totaling $100,000.

SOPAC has collaborated with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as the Region 5 Partner since 2013.

Since becoming a partner, Region 5 has produced 2 State Champions, 1 State Runner-Up and 1 National Semi-Finalist!


2023-24 Competition Season Information

The deadline to register a New Jersey school champion for a Regional Contest is January 19, 2024.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 10am
(snow date is Tuesday, February 13, 2024)
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)

2024 State Competition
March 14, 2024 at 10am
Count Basie Center for the Arts

National Competition
April 30-May 3, 2024
Washington, DC

Questions may be directed to Linda Beard at (973) 382-1035 or education@sopacnow.org.


For more information visit the NJ Poetry Out Loud (NJPOL) website or the national Poetry Out Loud® (POL) website.

National Poetry Out Loud® is a partnership of the National Endowment for the ArtsThe Poetry Foundation and the state arts agencies.

New Jersey Poetry Out Loud is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in collaboration with Count Basie Center for the Arts.  Regional partners include Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College, Mayo Performing Arts Center, Ramapo College, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, and South Orange Performing Arts Center.


SOPAC’s Arts Education programs are generously sponsored by