Planning a Competition: Poems

Planning a competition — Poems

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The list below should answer most of your questions regarding poems. You may also like to refer to our FAQs. But if you do have any other questions, please contact us at


There are three prize streams:

  • the English prize stream
  • the Bilingual prize stream
  • the French prize stream

For a visual representation of the prize streams, look at our Competition Structure flowchart.


Students must select poems from the official Poetry In Voice Recitation Contest online anthology. They may recite poems in English , in French, or both

  • Classroom contests: Students must prepare one poem.
  • School-wide contests: Students must prepare two poems.
  • Online Semifinals and National Finals: Students must prepare three poems to compete in the English and French prize streams and two poems to compete in the Bilingual prize stream.

Contestants recite their poems in rounds, not consecutively, with students reciting a different poem in each round.

We strongly recommend that students who compete beyond the classroom level select poems of varied style, time period, and voice. 

English and French prize streams:

Students competing in the English and French prize streams at the upper levels of the contest must meet the following criteria with their poem selections:

  1. one must be 25 lines or shorter
  2. one must be written before the 20th century

The same poem may be used to fulfil both requirements. You may browse our anthology according to those criteria.

Bilingual prize stream:

Students competing in the Bilingual prize stream must select two poems:

  1. one poem in English
  2. one poem in French

Their selections are not governed by any other criteria.

Judges must receive a complete list of competitors’ selections in advance so that they may familiarize themselves with the poems and develop a sense of the diversity and range of selections.


Students must provide the names of their poems and the order in which they will be recited in advance to the contest coordinators at every level of the competition.

Contestants may not change their selections or order once they have been submitted.