Poetry Performance

An original poem or prose, written by the contestant, performed as a monologue or exchange involving extemporization.


  1. Submit six (6) notarized copies of the original poem.
  2. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and
  3. Poems should be typed, using 12 point Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia, or Comic Sans. Please no other fancy typefaces or graphics. Poems should retain original form that they were created in and do not have to be double-spaced. Individual poems may be free verse or rhymed metrical poetry containing stanzas. Poems should not exceed 3 pages.
  4. The contestants must perform their work before a panel of judges. The performance must not exceed three (3) minutes. (Contestants not adhering to the maximum time requirement are subject to point deduction and/or disqualification.)

NOTE: The deadline for submission of national registration documents is May 15, 2020. No materials or copies will be accepted after that time or at the National Competition.

Contestants will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Emotional/Physical Presence (20) – Is the poet emotionally connected to the topic they are presenting? Is the poet demonstrating eye contact, body language and poise?
  • Original Thought (20) – Has the poet tackled an interesting subject or created something new with their work, or are they simply parroting belief systems or ideas that they have heard from someone else.
  • Voice and Articulation (20) – Does the poet exhibit appropriate volume, pace, rhythm, intonation and proper pronunciation?
  • Structure or Form, and Overall Presentation (20) – How is the poem constructed? Are there appropriate line and stanza breaks? Does the poem have a strong title? Does the poem contain appropriate grammar and punctuation?
  • Evidence of Understanding/Accuracy (20) – Does the poet comprehend the material they’re presenting and makes the audience understand? Does the poet miss written words or mispronounce words during their recitation?