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Contact: Chris Cate

Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs Invites Students to Participate in Poetry Out Loud

2013 state finals to be held in Tallahassee in March

Tallahassee, Florida –

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs is encouraging high school students to participate in the 2012-13 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. The contest, organized in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, teaches high school students about poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

"Poetry Out Loud helps students improve public speaking skills, build self-confidence and connect with poetry in a way that lasts a lifetime," said Secretary Detzner. "We are excited about being able to again play a role in providing Florida’s students learning and enrichment opportunities through poetry."

High schools throughout Florida can now register to participate in classroom and school-wide contests culminating in a state finals competition on March 9, 2013 in Tallahassee. State champions from all 50 states will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals taking place April 28-30, 2013, in Washington, DC.

How to get involved in Poetry Out Loud

High school teachers who are interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud should know that the program takes one to three weeks of classroom time and may be incorporated with existing poetry units. High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must contact Ken Crawford at the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs at [email protected] or by phone at 850.245.6395 to participate. 

Poetry Out Loud awards

Students who participate in the official Poetry Out Loud program may be eligible to compete in the state and National Finals in 2013. Each state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state will receive $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. For more information on Poetry Out Loud, visit

About the Division of Cultural Affairs

The Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida’s communities. To learn more about the division and its programs, visit