Thursday, December 14, 2017

December Updates: School Contest Dates, NEA Resources, and School Champion & Alternate Forms

Hello Coordinators,

I hope your December is going well and you can see the finish line of winter break on the horizon.

If you have not already done so, please send me your school contest date as soon as possible. These dates will be posted on the Arts Council website so feel free to check out your neighbor's contest date/time or send your judges to watch another school's event as part of their preparation.

As you prepare for your school contests, be sure to explore these resources from the NEA on setting up your school event, tips for finding judges, and more:
  • Organizing a Contest - PR tips, staffing suggestions, certificates of participation, contest evaluation sheet, and a sample tally sheet
  • Judge Preparation - 2017-18 Judge's Guide, a webinar for judges, and a video with advice for judges from previous POL judges 
  • Download Graphics - POL, NEA, and Poetry Foundation logos in grayscale, color, and several file formats
Lastly, as your school contests get underway - please complete this Student Information Form for your school champion and alternate. It's such a help to get these in as early as possible so we can begin putting poems together for the semi-finals. All forms need to be completed by February 9, 2018. Our first semi-final this year is February 15th!

Happy holidays, one and all!

Monday, November 20, 2017

November Updates: Semi-Final Site Assignments, Orientation Webinar, Poet Workshops

Happy November! I'm sure you're counting down the days to the Thanksgiving holiday so I will keep this brief. A few important Poetry Out Loud updates and a couple of requests of you.

  1. The semi-final site assignments are set. This document has a list of each school's venue. Please review and mark the dates on your calendar!
  2. Teacher-Poet Workshops are live and available to all schools. You can find more info here! Sign-up! It's free for your school!
  3. A recording of the Teacher Orientation Webinar is available for anyone who was unable to attend an orientation session.
  1. Please send me the date, time, and location of your school contest as soon as its set. We post these on the Arts Council's website so you all can see how your peers are doing the program, and also encourage new judges to attend so they get a feel for the semi-final events. (note: we ensure judges don't attend a school where they may then judge at that school's semi-final).
  2. If any of your colleagues who would like to receive these POL update emails please shoot me their email address.
November 28th - Nationally acclaimed poet Frank Bidart will be at the Capitol Center for the Arts. He will read his work and join Word of Mouth’s Virginia Prescott in conversation. Bidart is the recipient of a 2017 National Book Award and the 2017 Hall- Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. Tickets are $10.00.

Wishing you all a great holiday. Please be in touch with any questions!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October Updates

Welcome to October - a month of playoff baseball, Halloween candy, and most importantly - Poetry Out Loud Teacher Orientations!
  • Wednesday, October 18th from 4-6pm at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester
  • Thursday, October 19th from 4-6pm at the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth
If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you - and any participating teachers from your school - to sign up for one of the sessions! The orientation is always highly recommended by those who attend and is a great chance to network with your fellow teachers, plan you POL program for the year, and ask questions.

NEW THIS YEAR: the orientation will feature a session of teacher-led exercises with tips and ideas for implementing your program. You can also expect the following items to be covered:
  • overview of 2017-2018 POL program and calendar including semi-final competition dates
  • best practices for recruiting students and judges
  • ways to use your school competition to feed positive school culture
  • 2 CEU hours for all who attend 
This year we will also be offering an online orientation webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 4-5:30pm. No CEUs will be awarded at this orientation.

More to come soon and looking forward to seeing many of you next week!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

September POL Updates

Welcome again to the 2017-2018 POL Program - I hope you've all had a great first few weeks back! I have three important updates to share so please read below.


To help orient, or re-orient, participating schools and teachers we are again holding two in-person Teacher Orientations. At these events you can expect:
  • an overview of the POL program and calendar
  • NEW!! collaborative teacher exchange on poetry exercises for the classroom
  • best practices for recruiting students and judges
  • ways to use your school competition to feed positive school culture
  • 2 CEU hours
The in-person trainings will be held at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester on Wednesday, Oct. 18th from 4-6pm, and at the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth on Thursday, Oct. 19th from 4-6pm.

This year we will also be offering an online orientation webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 4-5:30pm. No CEUs will be awarded at this orientation.

Please click here to register for an orientation. We strongly encourage all schools to attend! This is great time to make your plans for POL, learn of program updates and new offerings from the Arts Council, and meet your fellow POL coordinators.

A revised calendar of dates is available here. Please note: we are aware the semi-final dates will overlap with most school's February vacation (week of the 26th) and are working to schedule all semi-finals between February 14th and 23rd - please plan you school contests early!

COMMUNITY EVENTS *have something share? email us.
9/22-9/23: Slam Free or Die is hosting the 5th Annual VOX POP Poetry Slam Tournament & Writing Workshops at Stark Brewing Company in Manchester. The top spoken word artists in the easter U.S. will be there and Saturday will feature three, two-hour writing and performance workshops with the first one starting at 10am. Cost of workshops will range from $5 to $10.

9/23: The New Hampshire Poetry Festival is being hosted at NH Institute of Art. There are intriguing workshops and panels lined up for what will be an exciting day of poetry.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A quick summer hello & POL update

I hope you are all enjoying the summer and your time away from the classroom!

We have 12 schools registered so far and are looking forward to more joining as we move into fall and the new school year.

There are a few updates and resources below for those who are interested but we will keep this light and let you enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

More updates and information on the teacher orientations dates will be coming soon.
  • Here is a calendar of important dates for 2017-2018 POL school year; it is in progress and will continue to be updated as dates are confirmed. All important dates can also be found on the NH POL homepage.
  • Teacher's Guides can be downloaded here or hard copies will be available for pick up at the teacher orientations (dates TBD).
  • The 2017-2018 POL online anthology will be available by September 1st

Until September...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Registration Open 2017-18 Poetry Out Loud

Welcome to the 13th year of Poetry Out Loud in New Hampshire!
We are accepting applications to the program from all NH public, private, and charter high schools. All schools will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. The program is limited to 45 schools.

What is Poetry Out Loud?
  • A free and fun curricular unit that deeply engages students in our nation’s literary heritage through classic poetry.
  • An opportunity for your students to compete in school, regional, and state-wide competitions.
  • A national model in poetry instruction that is supported by the NH State Council on the Arts, NH Writers Project, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.
  • A teacher-friendly, flexible program that can be integrated into the English Language Arts curriculum or existing poetry units with curriculum materials which support the English Language Arts, History, and Theatre Arts standards. To learn more about these connections check the Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Guide at www.poetryoutloud.org.
  • Free training and resources which include a teachers’ manual, professional development clinics for educators, poetry recitation and public speaking clinics for students, access to our updated online poetry anthology, state-wide teachers’ blog, and resources.
 Key Dates to Remember:
  • Deadline to hold school competitions: 2/14/18 (book your school venue ASAP!)
  • Semi Final Competitions 2/19/2018 - 3/1/2018
  • State Finals Competition: 3/14/2018

To Learn More:
Visit the NH State Council on the Arts to learn more about Poetry Out Loud in New Hampshire and the resources that are available to support your school in implementing the program.

To Register Visit:
Register electronically. You will be asked to:
  • Identify the lead POL coordinators for your school
  • Estimate the number of students and classrooms participating
  • How many years you have participated in the program
  • Alert us to any teaching resources that would be helpful to you in implementing the program.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email. We look forward to partnering with your school to celebrate poetry and student growth.  

Caitlin Delaney
Poetry Out Loud Coordinator
Opus Advisors 

Julianne Gadoury
Arts Education Coordinator
NH State council on the Arts

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Poetry Out Loud & Positive School Climate


October 26, 2016

"I feel like I can really make people FEEL the poem. Not from an academic or structural way but from the heart.”

“DO IT! It will be a valuable experience. In addition to gaining performance and memorization skills, you will have three poems close to your heart that you can draw upon at different points in your life. It's a wonderful introduction to poetry that I think everyone ought to try. It's not just for theater or English based students - math and tech students will enjoy it as well.”

“I was very new to this program, as a freshman, but my English teacher was very encouraging to myself and my fellow 
classmates, so I thought I's give it a try. I was surprised and honored to be selected as the champion of my school competition, because I was up against many other students, almost all of whom were my seniors. Winning was such a huge deal to me because it was so unexpected. I felt that if I could have beat those odds, I could very well beat any others. I worked hard at memorizing my poems, and really trying to make them personal and meaningful. I didn't end up advancing from my semifinal competition, but the experience was definitely worthwhile. It was great to be able to meet other people my age who shared similar interests with me and I would recommend participating in this program just for the sheer exposure it brought me.”

- Responses to the Student Evaluation NH Poetry Out Loud, 2015- 2016

Don’t forget! Teacher orientations begin next week
We will be hosting 2 teacher orientations for you to choose from. Attendance is STRONGLY encouraged for all schools and programs, even if you have already participated in previous years. A certificate for 2 CEUs will be given at the end of the orientation. All teachers in your school who will be participating are encouraged to attend. Register for the orientation here.  If you are unable to make the orientation, please send me an email so we can set up a time to discuss the program over the phone.

·         NH Institute of Art, Manchester
Thursday, November 3, 4-6 PM
·         Museum of the White Mountains, Plymouth
Monday, November 7, 4-6 PM

Tips on Using POL to Contribute to a Positive School Climate (PDF)
  • ·         Celebrate Diverse TalentsPoetry Out Loud offers your school another opportunity for an annual competitive and supportive showcase of skills in addition to athletics. Classroom and school-wide champions can share their recitations at school assemblies and events.
  • Involve as Many Classes as PossibleHaving multiple classrooms and grade levels participate and compete generates excitement among students. It also gives an opportunity for teachers to collaborate and share approaches to teaching.
  • Encourage and Support ELL Classes to ParticipatePoetry is an excellent tool for teaching in-depth contextual understanding of English vocabulary and practice of public speaking skills. When ELL students participate in POL it enriches the entire school culture by providing meaningful curricular-based integration and opportunity for the success of all students.
  •   Invite a Local Poet or Teaching ArtistThere are many teaching tools and resources available though the POL website but having a local poet share their passion with students can elevate students’ own excitement and create real world connections. Invite a poet to do a reading, lead an in-class exercise, or open with a reading at your school competition. Ask a theater educator in your school to lead exercises on public speaking.
  • Get Fired Up for Your School CompetitionCelebrate your students’ achievements, hard work, and courage by making your school competition as exciting as a final athletic event. Possibilities include: reserve the auditorium, ask theater educators to help with lighting, alert the local press, make a program with student bios, create opportunities for school finalists to recite within the community, invite the public, invite high-profile community members as judges, announce the competition on the daily school PA broadcast, put the competition on the outdoor school marquee, invite band members to perform before and after the event, and more. Be creative!

Additional Resources for Teaching
·         Sign up for a Peer Mentor
Our Advisory Committee has graciously offered to serve as mentors to school POL coordinators. If you would like to be paired with an experienced mentor, send me an email and we can connect you.
·         Read Suggestions from Students
Students answered questions on how their school competitions could have been improved, what they most enjoyed learning about, why they participated in the program and more. Use these answers from program participants to inform your school participation.  
·         Visit and bookmark the NH Poetry Out Loud page for important updates and the NEA POL webpage.
·         Read about the program and look over the teacher resources including:
  • October 23, 2016: Registration Deadline
  • October 2016 - February 2017: New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud School curriculum and competitions
  • November 3 & 7 Teacher Orientations
  • January 7, 2017: POL Student Poetry Clinic
  • February 2017: Judges Orientation
  • February 3, 2017: Deadline to hold School Competitions
  • February - March 2017: Regional Semi-Finals Competitions
  • March 10, 2017: NH State Finals Championship, NH State House, Concord
  • March 13, 2017: Snow Date for NH State Finals Championship, NH State House, Concord
  • April 24-26, 2017: Poetry Out Loud National Championship in Washington, DC