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Poetry Out Loud

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Date(s) - 02/08/2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Fallon House Theater


Join us on February 8th for Tuolumne County’s 4th annual Poetry Out Loud Competition. This year’s competition will be held at Sierra Repertory Theater’s Fallon House at 11175 Washington St. Columbia CA from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. This is a free event.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since 2005, POL (Poetry Out Loud) has grown to reach more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

This year, eleven participating students from local high schools will compete for prizes and for the opportunity to advance to the state finals. Finalists from each state have the opportunity to compete at the National level. (State finals are held in Sacramento and national finals are held in Washington D.C. Both will be virtual this year.)

Early in the school year, students choose two poems from the online POL anthology. Participants recite from memory and are judged for interpretation, presentation, and accuracy. They work with their teachers to prepare for the county school competitions held in December. Tuolumne County POL coordinator, Carol Woods, coaches the finalists in preparation for county and state competitions.

Tuolumne County’s own Sonora Union High student, Levi Lowe won POL’s California state finals in 2015 and again in 2017, representing the Golden State in Washington, D.C. at the national finals.

If you have not been to a POL contest, you are in for a literary treat! The energy and enthusiasm of the students is inspiring. Tuolumne County Arts is dedicated to bringing all aspects of the arts to our community through programs like POL, special events, shows, workshops and creative partnering with local organizations of all kinds!

The California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts support this nationwide poetry recitation competition and the Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded in the competition. Local longtime supporters include the Sonora Area Foundation and Front Porch. We want to thank Sierra Repertory Theater (SRT) for their generosity in allowing the 2022 POL competition to be held at Fallon House. SRT is committed to serving our community by donating their venue for the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest.

This year’s event will follow all protocols for gatherings during the pandemic. Masks are to be worn, and social distancing will be practiced during the competition. Check out this website: to learn more about Poetry Out Loud. For local POL questions please contact our POL Coordinator, Carol Woods at If you have questions about Tuolumne County Arts and how you might participate in the ARTS in our community, please contact our Executive Director, Laurie Livingston at or look up our website at