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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. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Marin Cultural Association is a state local partner for Poetry Out Loud, organizing the program in Marin County schools and hosting the county finals competition.

The 2024 program is underway, with Marin County Finals scheduled for February 4, 2024 at Marin Center's Showcase Theater.


Henry Greber.jpg

Congratulations to our 2023 Poetry Out Loud Marin County Finalist, Henry Greber!

Honorable mention goes to Adeline Voegels, this year's

2023 Poetry Out Loud Marin County runner-up!



Claire Blotter, the Marin Poetry Out Loud Coach and Liaison, performs poetry with body percussion and movement. She has published three poetry chapbooks and received numerous grants for poetry, theater and video.  She taught performance poetry at San Francisco State University, Dominican University, John F. Kennedy University and the College of Marin and represented San Francisco in National Performance Poetry Slams in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. She was a 2018 Finalist for the Colorado Fischer Poetry Prize and the judge for the 2020 contest. As a California Poet in the Schools she also teaches poetry writing to Marin elementary and high school students.


Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş is a choreographer, writer, and filmmaker from Northern California currently researching the intersections of language and movement through interdisciplinary collaborations with composers, designers, animators, coders, writers, and dancers. Maxine graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch. Her poetry, fiction, scores, essays, and interviews have appeared widely in Dance Art Journal, Samfiftyfour_Literary, Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Gallatin Review, October Hill Magazine, and VerbalEyze Press, where she published her first novella, through Eileen.



Lauren Howard is a middle school English language arts teacher at Bridge the Gap College Prep in Marin City, where she frequently centers her lessons around poetry and spoken word. Lauren has served on the Marin County Cultural Services Commission since 2018 and is a representative on the Poet Laureate Committee. She volunteers at the Marin Poetry Center providing outreach for the 2021 High School Contest and Anthology. Her own poems have appeared in Transformation, Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2020, and the 2019 Community of Writers anthology Written Here. She and her family live in Kentfield.



Vicki Pedersen is an attorney, business owner and lover of words.  She’s served on the Board of Director for numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations, including the Marin Cultural Association, for which she’s the current Chair.  Her interest in poetry is lifelong, and has been nurtured by an engaged community of local writers, and the insightful instruction of Tom Centolella at College of Marin.


Judy Halebsky is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged). She holds an MFA in English & Creative Writing from Mills College and a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California, Davis. Her honors include fellowships from MacDowell, Millay, the Vermont Studio Center as well as the New Issues Poetry Prize and a Graves Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Humanities. At Dominican University of California, she directs the MFA in Creative Writing program and teaches poetry and live storytelling.   


James Tipton holds a PhD in English and an M.A. in Creative Writing.  At U.C Davis, he worked with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gary Snyder and internationally known critic and poet Sandra Guilbert. James has taught creative writing at colleges around the Bay Area, including College of Marin since 1994.  He has published numerous short stories and poems in literary magazines, and recently The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine has purchased eleven stories in his series of Dr. Watson-without-Sherlock Holmes adventures.  James is the author of Annette Vallon, a Novel of the French Revolution, which was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers pick. Aside from literary pursuits, James studied classical voice and has a background in theatre, having had a job singing with the San Francisco Opera Chorus for seven seasons.



Tracy Jones is a poet, writer, executive coach, and branding/marketing consultant. She enjoys supporting organizations, thought leaders, and creatives who are focused on making the world a better place. Tracy has over a decade of experience serving on Boards for organizations such as U.N. Women USA SF, the Young Women Social Entrepreneurs, and the Marin Poetry Center. She has also served as a TEDx Producer and Curator, Film Selection Co-Chair for the Global Voices Film Festival, and Filmmaker Liaison for the Mill Valley Film Festival. She is honored to be a Marin County Poetry Out Loud judge!

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