The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest encourages our nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. More than 2.4 million high school students from more than 4,000 high schools across the United States have discovered the magic of beautiful language through Poetry Out Loud.

High-school students from Carbon, Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe, and southeastern Pike counties have participated in the regional competition at the Allentown Art Museum since 2006. The Museum partners with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), which sponsors the statewide competition, and each year the regional winner picked at the Museum competes in a state competition held in Harrisburg, and the state champion represents Pennsylvania at the National Finals in Washington, D.C.

Over the past ten years, more than one hundred thousand students from 320 high schools in Pennsylvania have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud, contact Amanda Lovell at


2019 Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition

On Third Thursday, January 17, 2019, the passion of poetry and the beauty of the spoken word were on full display at the Allentown Art Museum during the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.

Students representing nine high schools, from East Stroudsburg to Pleasant Valley, took turns presenting poems by well-known writers, with judges scoring the students according to a checklist of criteria. Here are this year’s top finishers:

  • 1st Place = Lisette Shields – Salisbury High School – Lehigh County – Teacher:  Anne Schneider
    Lisette will compete in the Pennsylvania State Poetry Out Loud competition in Harrisburg on Monday, March 4, 2019.
  •  2nd Place = Mariam Zaher- Whitehall High School – Lehigh County – Teacher:  Jessie Bucchin
  • 3rd Place = Gabrielle Grinaway – Pocono Mountain East High School – Teacher:  Allison Carpenter