For Immediate Release
Posted: March 06, 2023


Shelly Angers, NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136 |

‘Despise me not! / And be not queasy / To praise somewhat: / Verse is not easy’: 2023 NH Poetry Out Loud Championship to take place March 17

Hoping to add a little luck after months of preparation and practice, top New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud participants will come together at the State House on March 17 to determine who will represent the Granite State at the national Poetry Out Loud championship.

Reading from the floor of Representatives Hall, eight high school champions who advanced from the February state semi-finals will each recite two poems they selected from Poetry Out Loud’s collection of some the best-known and respected poetry ever written. 

A panel of judges will score their presentations based on accuracy, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness and other factors.

The four students who receive the highest scores will then recite a third poem to determine New Hampshire’s champion.

Twenty-four high schools participated in New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud this year. Competitions began at the classroom level, moved on to school championships and then to three semi-finals. State champions advance to the national finals, set to take place in Washington, D.C., May 8-10.

In addition to mastering public speaking skills and building self-confidence while learning about literary history and contemporary life, Poetry Out Loud participants report that the process of deeply analyzing, memorizing and interpreting poetry challenged them and helped them improve their writing and analytical skills, as well as helped them think about situations from perspectives other than their own.

The national Poetry Out Loud program is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. In New Hampshire, it is led by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

New Hampshire’s championship competition begins promptly at 5 p.m. and is open to the public. It will be livestreamed on the N.H. State Council on the Arts’ Facebook account,

Supporters of 2023 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud include Brightspot Consultants; Currier Museum of Art; Granite State Ambassadors; New Hampshire Writers’ Project; North Country Education Services; Poetry Society of New Hampshire; Putnam Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the N.H. Charitable Foundation; Slam Free or Die and the hosts of the three semi-final competitions: New England College, Plymouth State University and the Rochester Opera House.

To learn more about 2023 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, visit

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at