This year, the Tulare County Office of Education’s Instructional Services Division has greatly expanded its offering of poetry-related events for students in grades 6-12.
Poetry Live! was created as a new program to house a series of events that offer students the opportunity to not only recite poems written by great poets, but to write and recite their own original works as well.
Poetry Out Loud (POL), first introduced in Tulare County in 2016, will continue as the county’s premier poetry event for high school students. Participating schools will hold their own POL competitions next month or early January, crowning a school champion who will move on to the Tulare County Poetry Out Loud event in February. From the county event, one high school student will be chosen as the champion, advancing to the state – and potentially – the national POL competitions.
New this year, the POL experience is available to middle school students (grades 6-8) in the Poetry Out Loud Junior event. Students participating in this event will choose three pieces from the Poetry Foundation archive of poems to recite in front of a live audience. Participating schools will hold their own competition in December or early January and send their school champion to county competition, where a student will be crowned the county champion.
The final event in the Poetry Live! family is Poet’s Own Voice. This event is open to middle school and high school students (grades 6-12) and features two ways to participate. The first is a written event in which students submit five original works. Judges will determine the top piece from each student, as well as rank all pieces to determine the top three poems in the competition overall. In the showcase portion of the event, students can choose to recite their top original work in front of an audience. From the showcase event, the first-ever Tulare County Youth Poet Laureate will be crowned.
Middle schools and high schools interested in participating in any of the Poetry Live! events must register by December 12 at bit.ly/PLSchoolRegister. The county competitions in each event will be held February 3 at 210 Café at 210 Center Street, Visalia.
TCOE’s long-running Poetry & Prose event will continue this year for students in grades K-8. To register for Poetry & Prose, scheduled for March 14-17 and 21-23, visit www.tcoe.org/PNP.