New Mexico Poetry Out Loud State Championship

Six State Finalists compete to become New Mexico's State Champion in the 16th Annual New Mexico Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest.

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Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This national program is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Poetry Foundation, and state arts agencies. 

The New Mexico event is sponsored by New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, with local support from the College of Education and Technology at Eastern New Mexico University.

Eight schools, 169 students, and 12 teachers participated at the classroom level across New Mexico to select the six finalists who will compete to be state champion. 

Schools sending students to this year’s state finals:

  • Arrowhead Park Early College High School in Las Cruces;
  • La Cueva High School in Albuquerque;
  • Los Lunas High School in Los Lunas;
  • Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque;
  • Taos High School in Taos; and
  • Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque. 

The state winner will receive $200, plus $500 for their school library for the purchase of poetry books, and the honor or representing New Mexico at the virtual Poetry Out Loud National Finals this spring. 

At the National Finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and stipends will be given, including a $20,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. Performers are judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, evidence of understanding and accuracy.