Poetry Out Loud

April 28, 2014

Poetry Out Loud National Event

_POL2014_AllI am in Washington, DC for a few days at the National Poetry Out Loud events. Each state is represented by a high school student who will be competing tomorrow, Tuesday, in the semifinal round. The top students go on to the final round held on Wednesday at George Washington University. These young competitors advanced from a field of some 365,000 students who tested their skills in poetry recitation in more than 2,000 schools nationwide. The top finalists and their schools will receive $50,000 in awards.

The semifinals and finals can be viewed remotely through a live, one-time only webcast. Follow Poetry Out Loud on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL2014. For more information on the event, webcast, or viewing parties, visit arts.gov or call 202-682-5606. You can also go to the Poetry Out Loud site at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/articles/2014-national-finals.

The Maine Arts Commission is proud of our state champion, Charlotte Feinberg of Gorham High School who is the 2014 State Poetry Out Loud Champion. The State Runner-up is Thalia Muyderman from Waynflete School in Portland. Both students receive cash awards and their schools receive money to purchase poetry books for their libraries.

After surviving classroom, school wide and regional level competitions, 19 state finalists gathered at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville to recite three rounds of poetry from memory. Charlotte Feinberg was ultimately selected as state champion. Feinberg impressed a top panel of judges to become the 2014 State Champion reciting three poems during the competition: “The Pomegranate and the Big Crowd” by Alberto Rios, “Monet Refuses the Operation” by Lisel Mueller, and “When You Are Old” by William Butler Yeats.

About Poetry Out Loud

Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music among our youth. Poetry Out Loud builds on this momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have formed a partnership with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

The competition itself is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which twenty students are ultimately selected to appear at the state final. One student moves on from the state final to represent Maine at the national finals in Washington D.C. If you are interested in learning more or in having your school participate next year please go to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/POL-Home

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