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Resources for declamation. Includes links to archived declamation performances, sources for material.

Finding a declamation piece

Students may choose poetry or passages from plays, novels, essays, or great speeches for their declamation pieces. You can search for a great declamation piece, but often the best pieces come out of what you are reading right now. Books you read for pleasure or assigned books from class are a great place to start. As you read, think about how a piece would sound if it was read aloud.  Students should read and review the criteria for Public Declamation before settling on a piece to present.

  • Wondering what pieces have been been presented at declamations past? Check out this spreadsheet.
  • Check the box below for ebooks available through the Keefe Library or with your BPL card.
  • The library also has a special Declamation section in the Fiction Room with books you can browse and borrow.

Keefe Library declamation section


Visit the Keefe Library's declamation section in the Fiction room. You can browse, borrow, or make copies of passages from these books.


Nobel Peace Prize lectures and speeches American Academy of Poets. Use the Find Poems option to find works by theme or occasion

Poetry Foundation: Check out the Collections option to browse poems by Black or Asian-Americans, by women writers, or for works related to social justice.

National Public Radio: The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever! Over 350 speeches from the 18th century to the present. Search by theme, speaker, date, or school.










Exemplar texts

  • Click here to connect to a list of exemplar texts from the BLS English department.

Ebooks available through the Keefe Library: you will be prompted to login to your BPS account




  • Backstage Searchable database of important dramatic monologues
  • Monologue DB Search this page for monologues from dramatic works, but pay attention to the source. Some are from movies, despite being tagged as plays.