Call for Judges and Coaches for Maryland's Poetry Out Loud Program

About Poetry Out Loud
Participation in Poetry Out Loud offers students the opportunity to learn about their literary heritage, build self-confidence, and improve their public speaking skills. The process begins in the fall when participating students select three eligible poems from the POL website, analyze and memorize them, and present the poems at community level competitions. In January and February, each school winner moves on to regionals and, in March, at the State Finals competition, the participants are evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Currently, the Regional Competitions are scheduled to be held virtually and the State Competition to be held in-person. Competition dates will be confirmed in November. To learn more about Maryland’s 2022-23 Poetry Out Loud program, please click here

What We’re Looking For: 

  • Regional and state judges and coaches with a focus on diversity of experiences, diversity of location, and expertise in supporting students throughout all levels of the competition.
  • Individuals with experience as theater artists, educators, professors, arts journalists, writers, actors, librarians, slam poets, and general poetry lovers.
  • Judges and coaches must be Maryland residents. 
  • Selected judges and coaches serve a one-year term. Judges and coaches receive modest compensation for their service.

How do I apply to be a judge/coach? 
Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple. 

1. Review the 2022-23 POL Judges Guide here.
2. Watch at least one recitation video here.
3. Start your application by clicking here to log in or create a free account in SmartSimple.
4. Under Funding Opportunities, select "Public Call."
5. Select "Poetry Out Loud Judge/Coach" from the drop-down options and click "Save Draft" to populate the application.

The deadline to apply is Monday, November 28.

For questions, contact MSAC's Arts in Education Program Director, Lizzie Morales at