POETRY out loud

 2017 Santa Barbara County Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition      

2017 Santa Barbara County Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition




2017-2018 important dates

November 30, 2017: Registration Deadline for Participating High Schools

February 15, 2018: Santa Barbara County Regional Competition in Santa Maria

**UPDATED DATES** March 18-19, 2018: State Finals in Sacramento

April 23-25, 2018: National Finals in Washington D.C.


Poetry Out Loud (National)
Poetry Out Loud (State)
Teacher's Guide
Judge's Guide

staff contact

Hannah Rubalcava
Grants and Contracts Manager


John Ogilvie
Program Coordinator



what it is

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is an extraordinary opportunity for high school students to learn great poetry, perform it, and win prizes – including a trip to Washington D.C. for the California State Champion to compete in the national finals. POL is a free program that helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about their literary heritage, and compete for college scholarship funding. Nationwide, Poetry Out Loud has grown every year with millions of students participating across the country. California features the largest, most exciting competition of all!


The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. This annual program starts in the fall with high school teachers using the free Poetry Out Loud Teacher Toolkit and related materials to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods and can be completed in 2-3 weeks.

Following a pyramid structure, five winners from each school-wide competition will advance to a county-side competition.  County winners are treated to an unforgettable two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento on February 28 and 29, 2016. The State Finals competition is usually held in the historic Senate Chamber (legislative calendar permitting) and is webcast and televised via the California Channel. The county champions are honored with a dinner reception and each receives a certificate of recognition from their legislative representative.

At the state level, one winner will be selected to represent California in the national competition. The California State winner receives:

  • $200 cash prize and an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.
  • $500 for their school to purchase literary materials
  • An opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds. The National Finals in Washington D.C. will be April 23-25, 2018. Check out poetryoutloud.org for detailed information.


Schools, teachers, parents, and students can reach your county POL representatives here. Any public or private high school in the state is welcome and encouraged to participate. Homeschooled students may participate by joining in a registered high school's competition or by organizing a contest with other homeschooled students. Poetry Out Loud is accessible to students with disabilities. Teachers are encouraged to involve all students in Poetry Out Loud activities and can learn more about POL accessibility here.


The 2017-18 CA POL Teacher and School Registration Form should be completed by the designated Lead Teacher for each school. Completion of this form is required for participation in the official California Poetry Out Loud program and must be submitted prior to November 30, 2017.

Find complete information on Poems & Performance, Teaching Resources, and the Competition at poetryoutloud.org.