Poetry Out Loud, a national competition for high school students, has a new home in Georgia.

The Alliance Theatre will host Poetry Out Loud following the launch of a new partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Poetry Foundation, Georgia Council for the Arts and Alliance.

“The Alliance has been a part of Georgia’s arts community for decades, and we’re excited to partner with them for this program,” said Tina Lilly, executive director of Georgia Council for the Arts.

Poetry Out Loud is an annual program for high school students to learn about poetry and public speaking. It began as a pilot program in 2005 in Chicago and Washington D.C.

“This program encourages students to practice lifelong skills that can help them in any future career. They can explore creative expression, learn how to see other people’s perspectives, and be more confident public speakers,” said Lilly.

Co-sponsored by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, approximately 6,000 high school students took part in the program in 2022.

New event host and state coordinator

For the 2022-23 season, the Alliance Theatre will be coordinating the program with schools across Georgia. The theatre will also host the Atlanta regional semi-finals in February and the state finals in March.

Alliance takes over coordination of the state’s program after 14 years of coordination by the Atlanta History Center.

“For over two decades, the Alliance has used theatre as a tool for teens to find their voice and share it powerfully,” said Dan Reardon, director of education for Alliance Theatre. “This new initiative allows us to scale that work statewide, encouraging teens to embrace poetry, proclaim it loudly, and perform it with an artful confidence that promises to inspire.”

The National Poetry Out Loud finals will be held in May in Washington D.C.

Registration for the 2022/23 season is now open and the deadline to register is Dec. 16.

For more information, click here or contact poetryoutloud@alliancetheatre.org.

Rough Draft

Rough Draft Atlanta is the digital home of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.