JUNEAU, ALASKA – The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC) are pleased to announce the ten state finalists for the 2017 Alaska Poetry Out Loud Competition.  These ten students have progressed in competition at the classroom, school and regional levels, across Alaska.  Each student will represent their schools and communities at the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Competition on Tuesday, March 7th in Juneau, Alaska @360 North.  The Alaska State Champion will then advance to the National Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, DC in April.

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Finalists for 2017:

  • Jania Tumey West Anchorage High School
  • Isabella Weiss Colony High School
  • Sarah Price North Pole High School
  • Elissa Koyuk Juneau Douglas High School
  • Juan Sarmiento Homer High School
  • Ashelyn Rude Glenallen School
  • Amanda Davison Anguiin School
  • Elisa Larson Petersburg School
  • Moriyah Lorentzen Tanalian School
  • Madeline Andriesen Haines School

 Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.  In the 2016-2017 school year, Poetry Out Loud celebrates its twelfth anniversary, reaching millions of students from more than 7,300 schools nationwide.

Contact: Amanda Filori, Alaska Poetry Out Loud Coordinator
Juneau Arts and Humanities Council
350 Whittier St. Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 586-5099 | pol@jahc.org
This year, more than 3700 Alaska students grades 9-12 participated in Poetry Out Loud in their home communities.  ASCA and JAHC congratulate all these students for their work in memorization and recitation of poetry from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology.  We thank all of the teachers, librarians, school administrators, parents and community partners who support and encourage their students to participate.  Each of these supports helps students master public speaking skills, build self confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Alaska Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and schools and communities across the state of Alaska.


The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with Alaska State Council on the Arts and Juneau Arts & Humanities Council. Poetry Out Loud provides a wonderful opportunity for high schools to introduce their students to poetry. Competitions in recitation bring other life skills into play: memorization, public speaking, learning how to tease out meaning from the written word.


High school teachers who are interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud should know that the program satisfies most of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards. The curriculum for Poetry Out Loud has been designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. The program takes place over the span of 2 to 3 weeks, according to each teacher’s interest and agenda, and it does not require full class periods. The program may be incorporated with existing poetry units.

  • Schools sign up during the fall semester and have a school wide competition by January. Regional competitions are held by Jan. 27, 2017. The state final will be held in Juneau, March 7, 2017.
  • The state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship, April 24-27, 2017.
  • The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library.
  • Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Shannon Croft from West Anchorage High School, was selected as the 2016 Alaska Poetry Out Loud champion.
  • In Alaska alone, over 3,500 students from 42 high schools took part in the Poetry Out Loud program. Over 365,000 students participated nationwide.


High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must register online to participate. Those interested in participating but would like more information on the program can attend a teleconference on DATE TBA (RSVP required).

The Alaska State Council on the Arts will determine which schools are eligible to take part in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources.

2017 Competition Info:


August 31 2016: POL Informational Teleconference 1 (4:30 p.m. RSVP required)
September 19 2016: POL Informational Teleconference 2 (4:30 p.m. RSVP required)


Jan 20, 2017: Rural School Competitions completed
Jan 24, 2017: Video posting deadline
Jan 27, 2017: Deadline – All regional competitions must be completed
Feb 1, 2017: Deadline – All state finalist names to Juneau
March 7, 2017: Alaska POL Recitation Contest in Juneau
March 16, 2017: Deadline – State Winner to register for National Competition
April 24-27, 2017: National POL Recitation Contest in Washington, DC


General POL Information



Rules and Eligibility

Organizing a contest – Includes: Score Sheets, Evaluation Sheets, Evaluation Criteria, Judge’s Guide, Prompter Instructions, Sample Tally Sheet, Scoring Rubric

Judge Preparation – Includes: Advice for Judges, Score Sheets, Evaluation Sheets, Evaluation Criteria, Judge’s Guide, Prompter Instructions, Sample Tally Sheet, Scoring Rubric

Poetry Out Loud is a collaborative project of the

For more information about the Alaska POL Program contact Amanda Fliori at pol@jahc.org

Follow Poetry Out Loud on Facebook!

2016 Competition Info:

WATCH the complete program

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 Poetry Out Loud State Championship is Shannon Croft of West Anchorage High and the runner up is Rachel Moore of Shaktoolik. The POL competition was held March 15th at the Studio @360 North. There were 9 participants from high schools throughout the state of Alaska.

2015 Competition Info:


Alaska State Champion Maeva Ordaz performs during the National Championships in April 2015.

© James Kegley


Watch To hear about the program from the 2015 Alaska and National Poetry Out Loud Champion, Maeva Ordaz, in a video she produced with the Alaska Teen Media Institute you can click the link at https://vimeo.com/138813527. Maeva discusses the value of the program and her experience with the Alaska State and National Poetry Out Loud Program.

Watch Maeva Ordaz compete at the 2015 National Championships in Washington D.C.

Photos from the National Finals

Hear about the program from the 2014 Alaska State POL finalists

Learn more about Poetry Out Loud


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