Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

Email:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

2017-2018 Poetry Categories

Poetry Category A Restrictions

Material chosen for use in Category A of Poetry Interpretation shall meet the following
restrictions: (A) All poetic works (selections) shall be published, printed material; Internet material
shall be published concurrently in hard copy; (B) Selections from plays or screenplays shall not be
used; (C) Song lyrics published only as music may be used for transition purposes only; (D) No
contestant shall use the same theme/subject matter nor the same poet in more than one category in
the contest; (E) No contestant shall use selections from the same literary work more than one year
at UIL State Meet; and (F) Selections shall be read in the English translation; however, incidental
use of foreign language words and phrases in any selection may be used as in the origina
l.

Category A: Examining Our Changing World

The goal of this category is for the performer to examine his or her changing world in order to inform the
audience about a societal change and its impact on the performer. Societal change refers to a significant
alteration over time in behavior, cultural values and norms. In this category, the contestant shall perform a
single poem, excerpt of a poem or literary program designed to increase the audience’s knowledge about
a contemporary societal change occurring in the performer’s world such as, but not limited to: education,
family, personal relationships, career choices, minority struggles, or community issues. The contestant
shall read no more than six selections. The purpose of the performance should be to inform, not persuade.

Poems in this category shall be published in hard copy. The performance may be one single poem,
excerpt of a poem or poems, or a program of poetry that may be woven or may incorporate verbal and/or
nonverbal transitions. Unless published as poetry, song lyrics may be used only as transitions, and if
transitions are sung, the singing should be limited in scope. Works co-authored or written by anonymous
poets are not permissible. If more than one poem is used, the selections may be authored by different
poets. The poet(s) used in this category shall not be used in Category B of poetry.

The introduction and/or transitions during the performance shall include all the title(s) and poet(s) read
and should be used to identify and inform the audience of the societal change and its impact on the
performer, without taking a stand. If the program is woven, it shall be stated in the introduction and the
different poems should be distinguishable through interpretation. If song lyrics are used as transitions, it
shall be stated in the introduction.

Documentation Requirements

In order to meet category restrictions, the contestant shall provide proof the selection(s) are published in
hard copy. Examples of acceptable proof include the original published source or a photocopy or online
printout of Library of Congress cataloging information. If the selection(s) is/are drawn from a literary
collection, the contestant shall supply the original source or a photocopy of the table of contents that
designates the title of the book and proof the selection is included in that book, such as a photocopy of the
first page of the poem. A printout from an online source proving the selection is included in the published
collection is acceptable. Social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) are not acceptable forms of
formal documentation. Printouts of online documentation shall include the URL of the website
downloaded in the header or footer. See the UIL Prose and Poetry Handbook and the official UIL
website for detailed information about acceptable and unacceptable documentation.

In addition, the contestant shall prepare and provide for the contest director and each judge a copy of the
UIL Poetry A Documentation online form that lists the theme of the performance, as well as titles and
poets included in the performance, for the purpose of insuring that no theme/subject matter or poet is
being used in both categories.

Bibliographic Information

Students are urged to take to the contest site the original published source of the selection.

Poetry Category B Restrictions

Material chosen for use in Category B of Poetry Interpretation shall meet the following restrictions:
(A) Poetic works may be published, printed material, online material, or transcribed material; (B)
No contestant may use the same theme/subject matter nor the same poets in this category as they
did in Category A (C) No contestant shall use the same literary work more than one year at UIL
State Meet; and (D) Selections shall be read in the English translation; however, incidental use of
foreign language words and phrases in any selection may be used as in the original.

Category B: Taking A Stand

The goal of this category is to develop a thematic program that supports a position by using poetry to
make a persuasive argument. The contestant shall read a minimum of two different selections by different
authors but no more than six selections; however, the majority of the program must be poetry. For this
category only
, poetry includes published, online and transcribed poetry such as, but not limited to: slam,
spoken word, chapbooks, novels in verse. In addition, for one of the selections, contestants may read a
play written in verse, read a single song, including a song from a musical, or read one poem included in a
Podcast. One anonymous author is allowed. The purpose of the performance should be to persuade, not
only to inform.


The contestant may weave the program or may incorporate verbal and/or nonverbal transitions. The intent
of this category is not to encourage originally authored material but to give the contestant the freedom of
expanding published poetry to include different types of poetic literary works. However, original verbal
transitions may be used within the program. If transitions are sung, singing should be limited in scope.

In the introduction, the performer shall take a stand on an issue with the intent of persuading the
audience. The introduction and/or transitions during the performance shall include all the titles and poets.
If the program is woven, it shall be stated in the introduction and the different poems/selections should be
distinguishable through interpretation. The poets used in this category shall not be used in Category A of
poetry.

Documentation Requirements

In order to meet category restrictions, all selections may be published, printed material, online material or
transcribed material. The contestant shall prepare and provide for the contest director and each judge a
hard copy of the UIL Poetry B Documentation online form that lists the theme of the performance, as well
as titles and poets included in the performance, for the purpose of insuring that no theme/subject matter or
poet is being used in both categories. No proof of publication for Category B is required.

UNIVERSITY INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE
1701 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722
Tel: (512) 471-5883 | Fax: (512) 471-5908