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Words on Fire

Words on Fire (WOF) is an annual festival that includes DC’s Poetry Out Loud competition, a poetry slam, and a written poetry contest.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national competition that seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of the oral art form of poetry, as seen in the slam poetry and spoken word movements. The program invites these dynamic aspects into the classroom, where teachers engage students through classroom memorization, performances, and competition.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partnered with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) to support Poetry Out Loud, a FREE high school program that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This dynamic program helps high school students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about their literary heritage, and compete for more than $100,000 in awards.

The CAH Student Poetry Slam and Written Poetry Contest presents original work by DC’s high school students. Winners for both competitions are announced at the Words on Fire festival.

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