Watch the Finals of the Poetry Out Loud Competition, Live Tonight

“Hav­ing oth­ers’ poems in our minds and hearts means we’re nev­er real­ly alone.”
Karen Kovacik, Indi­ana State Poet Lau­re­ate

Youssef Biaz, recit­ing here, was 16 years old when he was named Poet­ry Out Loud Nation­al Cham­pi­on. Biaz won a $20,000 award and $500 worth of poet­ry books for his high school in Auburn, Alaba­ma. He went on to recite poet­ry at the White House along with Rita Dove, Com­mon, and Bil­ly Collins. His favorite poet, Sharon Olds, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Poet­ry.

This past week­end, kids across the coun­try packed their bags and head­ed to Wash­ing­ton, DC, to recite poet­ry in the eighth con­sec­u­tive year of the nation­al com­pe­ti­tion, Poet­ry Out Loud. The recita­tion com­pe­ti­tion, pre­sent­ed by the Poet­ry Foun­da­tion and the Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts, brings fifty-three Amer­i­can high school stu­dents to the nation’s cap­i­tal to com­pete for the title of 2013 Poet­ry Out Loud Nation­al Cham­pi­on. It will cul­mi­nate tonight in an evening of recita­tion com­pe­ti­tion at 7pm EDT.

If you can’t make it to DC for the free event this year, which fea­tures host Anna Dea­vere Smith and singer-cel­list Ben Sollee, view the live web­cast of Poet­ry Out Loud, or host a view­ing par­ty and bid a cel­e­bra­to­ry adieu to Nation­al Poet­ry Month.

Kristin Gecan is the media asso­ciate at the Poet­ry Foun­da­tion, which is the pub­lish­er of Poet­ry mag­a­zine and an inde­pen­dent lit­er­ary orga­ni­za­tion com­mit­ted to a vig­or­ous pres­ence for poet­ry in our cul­ture. The site also fea­tures an archive of more than 10,000 poems. Fol­low the Poet­ry Foun­da­tion on Twit­ter, Tum­blr, Face­book, or Pin­ter­est

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