SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A statewide search for local high school poets is on. Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national arts education program that is managed by New Mexico Arts (NMA) and geared towards helping students engage with poetry and hone public speaking skills.

This year’s statewide competition will be on March 3, 2024. Winners will move on to the national finals in Washington, D.C. from April 30 to May 2, 2024.

“Through Poetry Out Loud, students discover great poetry while also learning about themselves, world history, contemporary life, and the power of words. Through their participation in the program, they have the opportunity to build important public speaking skills, increase self-confidence, and build appreciation for different world views and styles of expression,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD in a statement. “We are grateful for the work of New Mexico Arts in making this opportunity available to students throughout New Mexico.”

The program is open to schools and non-school organizations like school clubs, libraries, and nonprofit organizations. Interested groups should contact NMA by November 3. For more information, people can contact Kevin Lenkner with NMA at 505-412-5791.