Poetry scholarships for college students are unknown, unusual, strange and sometimes simple.

Poetry Out Loud Poetry Scholarships are Unknown

You can earn up to $20,000 in unknown scholarships for college to pay your tuition with the Poetry Out Loud poetry scholarships.

If you have a talent for turning a phrase, and aren’t afraid to share that talent with your peers, you might be this year’s Poetry Out Loud Poetry Scholarship winner. Read on to find out more about how you can try your hand at performing your art.

The Poetry Out Loud Poetry Scholarship Fund is a scholarship for college that was first awarded in 2004. Since that time, semi-finalists and finalists have competed annually for the grand prize of up to $20,000 in money for college. This poetry college scholarship is financed by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, and is awarded to one high school student each year.

Last year, over 200,000 students took part in this innovative poetry scholarships program, designed to teach students about excellent poetry by means of memorization and recitation. A student named Shawntay A. Henry, residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands, won the $20,000 prize in 2008.

This year’s final performance will be held on April 28, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Advancing to the finals, however, isn’t an easy task. The first step in obtaining an invitation to the nation’s capital for this performance is winning the poetry contest at your local school. To do this, you must choose two approved poems from the scholarship foundation’s official poetry anthology.

One of these poems must have been written before 1900, while the other must be less than 25 lines in length. Your goal is to present these poems in a way that brings them to life and conveys the intent and feeling of the author as clearly as is possible. One lucky student and a runner-up will be chosen from each participating school.

School winners will enter a state-level competition and be expected to perform their art again before judges. One student will be chosen as the winner from each state, and will receive $200 for their poetry for scholarships entry. In addition, he or she will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national poem contest.

One runner-up will also be selected in the event that the winning student is unable to attend. This person will receive a $100 poetry scholarship. The schools of both the winning student and the runner-up will receive a cash stipend as well to purchase poetry books for the school’s library.

A total of $50,000 in unknown scholarships for poetry and other prizes will be awarded at the national Poetry Out Loud contest. Each state winner is eligible to be a part of this exciting poetry contest, and one lucky winner will receive up to $20,000 to be used at the university of his or her choice.

If you think you might have what it takes to offer up an artistic performance, practice your diction and pronunciation. Develop your self-confidence, and work on your posture. Choose a poem that you enjoy and find meaningful, and learn it well. You may just be Shawntay Henry’s successor as the next little known Poetry Out Loud scholarship Champion!


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15 thoughts on “Poetry Out Loud Poetry Scholarships are Unknown

  • Mike says:

    Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the State and Jurisdictional Arts Agencies of the United States.
    The National Endowment for the Arts – is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts (both new and established) bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing outstanding art to all (50) states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
    The Poetry Foundation (publisher of Poetry magazine) is an independent literary organization committed to a very active presence for poetry in our culture. It has set out on an aggressive plan to bring the very best poetry presented to the largest possible audiences.

  • Jeree says:

    how do i apply for the poetry out loud contest

  • […] them for admission. The school offers a number of merit scholarships for students. Some of these poem scholarships are based solely on artistic talent, while others also consider financial […]

  • Thomas says:

    Is this contest for public school students only or are private/home schooled students allowed to enter? Thanks.

  • admin says:


    good question. Contact them by email to find out:
    444 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611

    Come back and post the answer to help out someone else in the future!


  • Angela says:

    Do you have to be in school? What if your over 40 and just got accepted to a nursing program and you have a penchant for poetry?

  • admin says:


    send your question to mail@poetryoutloud.org. It will be answered correctly by the Poetry Out Loud committee.

  • lindsey says:

    how do I apply i write poetry

  • admin says:


    go to Poetry Out Loud to look into applying. Everthing is there for you and good luck.

  • admin says:

    This just in from the Live Out Loud Educational Scholarships Administration…
    Thank you for your interest in the Live Out Loud Educational Scholarships. The 2010 application will be available on our website within the next week and will be due no later than March 8, 2010. Please feel free to contact us if you have any remaining questions.


    Live Out Loud
    PO BOX 312
    New York, NY 10113
    Tel: 212.651.4236

  • […] Poetry Out Loud Scholarships are Unknown Bookmark It Hide Sites $$('div.d72').each( function(e) { e.visualEffect('slide_up',{duration:0.5}) }); […]

  • […] National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation has created the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest. The national champion can win as much as $20000. Contests begin in the […]

  • […] Poetry Out Loud contest focuses on the recitation aspect that comes with poetry. Seeing as this competition takes the form […]

  • admin says:

    This comment was emailed to me directly and I am posting for the nice person who was thoughtful enough to send it to me!

    My name is Aaron
    I’m from Durham North Carolina and I am a slam poet.
    A form of poetry meant for the sole purpose of sharing it with others we are encouraged to to write as much as we need to to say as much as needs to be heard. In the “Poetry out Loud” competition, when offering scholarships and praise to someone for attempting to share an idea with with others it seems counterproductive to, 1. give rewards for reciting others work and not work written by the poets own pen and 2. to censor the length of a poem to 25 lines as if you are saying “we only want to see a fraction of your heart, even if you’re trying to show us the whole thing”. I hope you will review my concerns and possibly work forward reforming the Poetry out Loud competition to better allow poets creative control and the ability to better speak from the heart
    Thank you

  • admin says:


    you make some valid points!

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