New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Region 1 Announces 2023 Regional Finalists

Camden, NJ / February 24, 2023: Kailan Cass-Adams-Johnson, a student from Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, NJ, and Victoria King, a student from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, NJ, were named the Region 1 Finalists at the 2023 New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Region 1 competition, part of the National Poetry Out Loud recitation program. The adjudication took place on February 7, 2023, at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in Camden, NJ.  

Kailan Cass-Adams-Johnson and Victoria King will represent Region 1 at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals on March 6, 2023, at Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. Participants from 6 regions throughout the state will compete for the title of State Champion. The State Champion will move on to represent New Jersey at the National Finals in Washington D.C. later this spring.

“This was Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts 16th year hosting the Region 1 Poetry Out Loud Competition, it is our very favorite day of the year, celebrating poetry and fellowship!” Noreen Scott Garrity, Associate Director for Education

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the 55 state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

Congratulations to the Region 1 Finalists. For more information about New Jersey Poetry Out Loud, the State Finals, and more, visit


The Count Basie Center for the Arts is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that reflect the diversity of the region. As a nonprofit organization, the Basie is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity.


The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council believes the arts are central to every element we value most in a modern society including: human understanding; cultural and civic pride; strong communities; excellent schools; lifelong learning; creative expression; and economic opportunity. To learn more about the Council, please visit


New Jersey Poetry Out Loud is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Count Basie Center for the ArtsPoetry Out Loud is a national arts education program, led by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in partnership with the state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the country. In New Jersey, the State Arts Council and the Basie work with a growing network of regional partners to implement the program statewide.


RCCA has been the NJ Poetry Out Loud Region One Partner since 2007.

High schools in these counties can get involved in this nationwide recitation contest and scholarship program.

So what is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national poetry recitation program for all public, charter, parochial school and home school students grades 9-12, or the age/grade equivalent. Other grades are welcome to register and run the program at the school level, but do not qualify for the contest. National Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies of the United States.

In New Jersey, POL is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in collaboration with Mayo Performing Arts Center, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and a growing list of local partners. POL Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

2022 – 2023 Calendar


December 2, 2022 | Deadline for schools/organizations to register


January 20, 2023 | Deadline to register school champion



February 3, 2023 | Region 2 Competition | Appel Farm Arts & Music Center

February 7, 2023 | Region 1 Competition | Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts

February 8, 2023 | Region 3 Competition | Grunin Center at Ocean County College

February 9, 2023 | Region 5 Competition | South Orange Performing Arts Center

February 10, 2023 | Region 6 Competition | Ramapo College of New Jersey

February 15, 2023 | Region 4 Competition | Mayo Performing Arts Center


MARCH 2023

March 6, 2023 | State Competition | Count Basie Center for the Arts


MAY 2023

May 8 – 10, 2023 | POL Nationals in Washington D.C.

Want to know more?

Visit the NJPOL website at

Want to get involved?

Noreen Scott Garrity