Black Poetry Recitation Contest

October 18, 2019 all-day

The Black Poetry Recitation Contest is a poetry recitation contest for students in Grades 9 – 12 attending high schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

Registration is free and open to all students.


  • Student contestants choose and learn to recite poems from our anthology of Black poetry.
  • Each student has to commit their selected poem to memory and practise their recitation skills.
  • Students compete in the spring in celebration of Black History Month 2020.


  • For students to be eligible for the contest, they must work with a teacher at their school to participate in the Black Poetry Recitation Contest.
  • Finalists will have an opportunity to work with a poet in preparation for the competition.
  • A school can name up to 5 students to participate in the Finals.
  • Students must be attending a school in the Greater Toronto Area, defined as City of Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Durham Region, and Halton Region.
  • All competitors must be aged 18 or younger by September 30, 2019.


Monday, October 7, 2019:
Schools indicate interest in contest at

Monday, November 18, 2019:
Registration of individual student contestants

Saturday, March 7, 2020:
Finals at York University

The purpose of the Black Poetry Recitation Contest is to raise the visibility and prestige of formal poetry by Black writers of the Diaspora among teachers and students. The absence of Black literature – and more so, Black poetry - in secondary and tertiary school curricula motivates our work. It is our hope that those who participate in this contest as competitors, coaches, and spectators will have an increased interest in and appreciation for the poets and poetry of the Black diaspora.