Monday, August 25, 2014

Welcome to Poetry Out Loud 2014-2015

Greetings NH Poetry Out Loud Fans! Registration is now open for 2015 NH Poetry Out Loud - the 10th Anniversary of Poetry Out Loud in our state and in the nation. We will start to post helpful materials and information here and on the NH State Council for the Arts website. We have a tentative date set for our NH POL State Finals, March 13, 2015 at the State House, Representatives’ Hall and Virginia Prescott, from NH Public Radio has agreed once again to serve as our MC (snow date on Monday, March 16). I am Alexandra Urbanowski and am delighted to be working this year as the new NH Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, in collaboration with my colleague Caitlin Delaney. Together we will work to be a resource for you and all those involved and make all the events and activities run smoothly. Caitlin and I are members of Portsmouth-based Opus Advisors ( where we provide assistance to arts organizations and nonprofits across NH and beyond in communications, strategic planning, and fundraising. We bring our passion for theatre arts, poetry and the arts in education to NH Poetry Out Loud. Please contact us at anytime with your questions at We look forward to meeting you soon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Congratulations and Thanks to All!

The NH Poetry Out Loud state finals took place on Monday, March 17th at the NH State House, and what a night it was!

The audience was welcomed by an eloquent State Representative, who then turned over the reins to Master of Ceremonies Virginia Prescott, host of NHPR’s “Here and Now.” Prescott has been the MC for the Poetry Out Loud State finals for a number of years now and clearly enjoys the job.

But what’s not to enjoy? Our twelve finalists from around the state were uniformly superb. At the end of the evening, though, a new state champion was determined: Hannah Burke, from Jesse Remington High School in Candia. Alternate champion is Dessaline Etienne from Goffstown High School.

Hannah will travel to Washington, DC, on April 28th to compete in the national competition with 52 other champions from all the US states and territories. Best of Luck Hannah!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Brush Up Your Poetry!

Last year for the first time, we offered a one-day clinic for all NH school champions and alternate champions. We brought in professionals to lead workshop sessions with an eye to improving students’ performances at the semi-final and final Poetry Out Loud competitions, and as a way of introducing kids to one another and building a sense of camaraderie.

The event was such a success that we have committed to doing it again this year!

“Brush up your Poetry: a Recitation Workshop for NH Poetry Out Loud Champions” will take place at Holderness School in Holderness, NH (near Plymouth), from 2PM to 5PM on Sunday, February 23rd (snow date, Saturday, February 22nd—strange, but true). We have lined up some wonderful workshop leaders(including Rodger Martin, Jason Lambert, and NH Poet Laureate Alice Fogel!) and will provide light refreshments. Parents who drive their kids to Holderness can take advantage of shopping and caf├ęs in nearby Plymouth. Teachers who attend are welcome to observe workshop sessions.

We’ll send out more information to each of our participating schools, but we hope you’ll put the date on your calendar right away! See you there!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Semi-Final Competitions

Hi everyone, Here is the list of Semi-Final Competition dates, locations, and assignments:

Southern New Hampshire University, Walker Auditorium, Frost Hall (Directions and campus map:
Friday, March 7th; 7pm Snow Date: Tuesday, March 11
- Academy for Science & Design
- Alvirne High School
- Derryfield School
- Goffstown High School
- Jesse Remington High School
- Making Community Connections Charter School
- Manchester Central High School
- Pembroke Academy
- Souhegan High School
- Timberlane Regional High School

Jean’s Playhouse, Lincoln (Formerly PaperMill Theater, Directions at Wednesday, March 5th; 7pm Snow Date: Wednesday, March 12
- Groveton High School
- Holderness School
- LinWood Public School
- Newfound Regional High School
- Plymouth Regional High School
- Profile High School
- Winnisquam Regional High School
- Woodsville High School

New England College, Simon Center (Directions at Monday, March 10th; 7pm; Snow date Tuesday, March 11
- Bow High School
- Concord High School
- CONVAL High School
- High Mowing School
- Hollis Brookline High School
- Hopkinton Middle High School
- John Stark Regional High School
- Kearsarge High School
- Keene Public Library
- Raymond High School

University of New Hampshire, Hennessy Theater (Directions at Tuesday, March 4th; 7pm Snow date Thursday, March 6
- Coe Brown Northwood Academy
- Dover High School
- Exeter High School
- Kingswood Regional High School
- Newmarket High School
- Oyster River High School
- Portsmouth High School
- Prospect Mountain High School
- Somersworth High School
- Spaulding High School
- St Thomas Aquinas High School
- Winnacunnet High School

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Now That We're All Oriented...

Greetings all POL teachers! Jennifer and I feel like we’ve made big steps toward the Poetry Out Loud finals next March: we’ve finished the Teacher Orientations! Thanks to all who attended. It was a joy to meet you all, and you trained us as much as we trained you.

We still have a few meetings planned with teachers who couldn’t get to one of the orientations, and we stand ready to help those of you new to the competition. Call us! Write us! (Just don’t tweet me—the twittersphere is still alien territory to me.)

Most of you have the new Teacher’s Guides by now. We still have a few left over if any of you NEED more in order to make your POL school competition a flawless experience.

We are now recruiting our judges—never a dull moment here at NHPOL Central!

A number of dates to be aware of:

Sunday, February 23rd – Holderness School, Plymouth (snow 2/22)

March 4th - UNH, Durham (snow TBD)
March 5th – Jean’s Playhouse, Lincoln (snow 3/6/14)
March 7th – Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester (snow, 3/11/14)
March 10th – New England College, Henniker (snow, 3/11/14)

Thursday, March 13th - Statehouse, Concord (snow, 3/17/14)

‘til soon: Andrew

Friday, September 13, 2013

Important NH POL Dates to Know

With 31 schools now registered and our orientation and planning sessions scheduled, the new year for Poetry Out Loud is definitely underway!

Below, for your reference, some key dates to be aware of:

ORIENTATION SESSIONS: Required for all participating schools. Choose ONE:
- October 2, 2013, 1-4 pm, Holderness School
- October 11, 2013, 1-4 pm, PSU Graduate Studies, 2 Pillsbury St. Concord
- October 16, 2013, 5:30-8:30pm, Portsmouth Public Library, Hilton Garden Room
RSVP by Sept. 22nd, to Jenn Andrews:

- November 1, 2013: Registration Deadline
- October, 2013 - February, 2014: NH POL 2013-2014 curriculum & competitions.
- February 16: Celebration and Clinic for all student champions and alternates (site TBD)
- February 21: Deadline for completing School Championships.
- February 24: Deadline for submitting school champion/alternates’ information.
- March 3-11: Regional Semi-Finals (specific dates/sites TBD).
- March 14: NH State Finals Championship, Concord, NH (snow date March 16)
- April 29-30: National Championship in Washington, DC.

More details about the program, plus many valuable resources may be found at the national Poetry Out Loud website at:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gearing Up for a New Year

Welcome to the 2013-2014 NH Poetry Out Loud program!

This year we say a regretful and appreciative goodbye to outgoing program coordinators, Cynthia Robinson and Arlene Taranow, who have worked hard to support the program over the past several years, with amazing results!

Our incoming Coordinator is Andrew Periale, and he will be assisted by Jenn Andrews (yours truly). If so inclined, you can learn more about our backgrounds by checking out the "staff bios" document posted in the column to the right of this post (below the photos).

That is also where you can see an overall description of the program nationally, this year's calendar, a hard copy of the registration form, and other key links.

If you know you will be participating this year, please go to our online registration form TODAY to reserve your school’s “spot” in the program; participation will be capped at 40 for all of NH (first-come, first-served), so don’t wait until the deadline (Nov.1).

We look forward to getting to know all of you, and working together in the months to come! Stay tuned...