Poetry Out Loud

February 13, 2016

Excitement was intense

On Wednesday evening over 100 people, family members, friends, and teachers sat quietly, mesmorized by the recitations given by 21 southern Maine high school students. Each student traveled to Biddeford City Theater representing their school where they had competed against many students. Some high schools in Maine have all students participate, others have an entire grade participate and others have students in certain classes. It is up to each high school how they handle the school competition. One student is selected to represent them at the southern or northern regional event. Congratulations!


21 students representing high schools from all over southern Maine.

Needless to say in order to have gotten to the Southern Maine Regional Finals students have studied hard and were at the top of their game. The evening started with a vocal group, Noelle DiBiase and Abbie Flint, from Gorham High School perform for the audience.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.59.25 PM Each of the twenty students recited two poems where they were scored on Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Evidence of Understanding, and Overall Performance. At the end of round 2 the judges scores were tallied and 10 students move onto a third round. At the end of that round the audience was treated once again to musical selections by Noelle, Abbie, and accompanied by Gorham music teacher Matthew Murray while the judges scores were tallied.

The 2016 Maine State Teacher of the Year, Talya Edlund, was the evenings Emcee which included announcing the 5 students who will move onto the next step, the State Finals. They will be held on March 15 at the Waterville Opera House, 3:00 pm. Jennifer Rooks, Public Affairs Host and Producer at Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) will serve as the event’s emcee. The event is free and all are welcome to attend. One student will be selected after three rounds of recitations to represent Maine at the national competition in Washington, D.C. If you decide to attend the event in Waterville, you won’t be disappointed!

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.58.01 PM

Congratulations to the following 5 students who move on to the state finals:

  • Shiloh Munsen, grade 9, Freeport High School
  • Charlotte Benoit, Grade 12, Greely High School
  • Sylvia Holland, Grade 10, Maine Coast Waldorf School
  • Rose Horowitz, Grade 12, Mt. Ararat High School
  • Ben Millspaugh, Grade 9, Waynflete School

The Northern Maine Regional Finals will take place at Hampden Academy on February 29, 3:00 pm. The event is free and all are well to attend. If you’d like to learn more about the Maine Poetry Out Loud program please CLICK HERE.

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.

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