For Immediate Release
Posted: March 18, 2024


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

Portsmouth High School’s Morgan Cole named 2024 NH Poetry Out Loud Champion; Holderness School’s George Fortin selected as alternate

The N.H. State Council on the Arts has announced that Morgan Cole from Portsmouth High School is the winner of the 2024 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud High School Championship. George Fortin from Holderness School was selected as alternate champion. 

Cole will represent New Hampshire at the national finals, which are scheduled to take place in Washington D.C., April 30 – May 2. Should Cole be unable to participate in the finals, Fortin will represent the Granite State at that event.

This year, more than 3,000 students from thirty high schools participated in New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, with classroom competitions taking place in the fall and early winter. High school champions advanced to four semi-finals held in February, with the top ten moving on to the statewide finals.

Each student at the championship recited two poems in the qualifying round; the four students with the highest scores moved onto a final round, where they recited a third poem. Scores from all three rounds were tallied to determine New Hampshire’s champion.

Recitations throughout Poetry Out Loud are judged on several criteria, including physical presence, voice and articulation, interpretation, evidence of understanding and accuracy, and overall performance.

As state champion, Cole receives $200 and Portsmouth High School receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Fortin will receive $100, with a $200 stipend given to Holderness School for its poetry book collection.

Administered in New Hampshire by the N.H. State Council on the Arts, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Supporters of 2024 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud include Brightspot Consultants; Currier Museum of Art; Frost Place; 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; and the hosts of the four semi-final competitions: New England College, Plymouth State University, the Rochester Opera House and Tupelo Music Hall.

To learn more about 2024 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, visit and click on the Poetry Out Loud button.

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