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Poetry Out Loud

September 18, 2015

What’s it all about?

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 (POL) 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 POL, 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. Registration is open to all public, private, parochial and home school high schools in Maine.

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 (MAC). It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten 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., where students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.

This week kicks off POL in Maine by inviting teachers and schools to consider participating. If you or your school are interested in participating please go to the POL webpage on the MAC website at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/POL-Home.

Please email argy.nestor@maine.gov if you have any questions.

Last year was the 10-year anniversary of POL. In celebration the MAC created a video of the State Finals which was held at the Waterville Opera House. We invited the former state champs to participate and were thrilled that 2 returned and the others voices were included in the event. You can view the video below that was created. And, yes that is the Messalonskee High School Jazz Band who opened the performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XST7EdC3qQ

 

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