Posts Tagged ‘POL’

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POL South Dakota Champ

July 14, 2017

A Platform for a Powerful Voice

The following was written by Ms. Madison Lukomski, South Dakota’s Poetry Out Loud champ and finalist for the National Poetry Out Loud champ. It was published in the Americans for the Arts journal on June 28, 2017.


“I was miserable, of course, for I was seventeen,
and so I swung into action and wrote a poem.”

“Mingus at The Showplace” by William Matthews


Ms. Madison Lukomski

The first lines of Matthews’ poem truly resonated with me when I first read it, though at first I couldn’t identify why. On the surface, the poem itself is a light-hearted account of a young teenager attempting to find a way to express his voice. The humor is dry, the characterization is vivid, and the storyline unpredictable—and as a moody 17-year-old, I was hooked on every word!

It was so beautiful to me—that a 17-year-old boy in the poem could experience intense emotion and feel moved enough to share his poetry with “genius” Mingus, as he says. He was miserable, but he didn’t keep his misery locked away.

When I was seventeen, my father suddenly had a heart attack and passed away on Christmas Eve. There was really no outlet for my pain; most people didn’t feel comfortable talking to me and my sister, and no one felt comfortable doing anything to help us. The effect was extremely isolating—people would merely stare and whisper. I had never felt so alone.

I had never written poetry before, but there was an opportunity through Poetry Out Loud for me to create a poem and submit it for a supplementary competition. I had such a deep love for poetry at this point, and I felt like this opportunity deserved exploring. So, I did it. Five drafts of work yielded “My Sleeves,” a poetic tribute to my father, in a way.

That poem ended up getting first place in the nation in the Poetry Ourselves competition.

The entire experience was humbling. Every time I shared my poem in person with others, they showed genuine appreciation for having experienced what I had worked so extremely hard to put into words. This poem, this verbalization of the most intense and horrible and painful emotions I had ever experienced, became my way of honoring my father.

Maddie Lukomski performs at the 2016 Poetry Out Loud national competition.

I remember performing my poem once for my peers in the South Dakota Honor Choir during their talent show. I was absolutely terrified to share my words with them (I actually backed right into a wall on my way out because I was so overwhelmed), but I did it because I genuinely loved the words that went into this poem, and I genuinely felt that I had something worth hearing in the notes section of my phone. On stage in the middle of my poem during a pause, a girl let out one audible sob right before the last lines of the poem. Later she came up to me and told me that her mother was in the hospital and had been in a coma for some time. She told me that every word I spoke resonated with her, related to her on a level neither one of us could understand.

Poetry Out Loud gave me a link to connect to others with. It gave me the empowerment to confidently and unapologetically exist. It let me speak with my own voice. I will never, in my entire life, forget this organization and all of the people who created it. Without it, I solidly feel as though I would still be lost. I would feel as though my thoughts were not worth sharing, that my existence STILL had to be apologized for. I owe everything to Poetry Out Loud and I owe everything to art.

I will be forever thankful for my journey thus far, and forever eager for whatever is to come; and I can thank my poetry for instilling that in me.

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In Today’s News

May 3, 2017

Maine POL champ in the news

As you may know Gabrielle Cooper, a senior at Gardiner Area High School, represented Maine last week in Washington, D.C. at the national finals. The Kennebec Journal interviewed Gabrielle for an article.

In her own words: “The best part of the entire journey was the people, from the English teachers to the Maine Arts Commission and to all the other competitors,” she said. “It was the people that made it a great experience and what I’ll remember the most.”

The article provides many details about Gabrielle’s experiences during Poetry Out Loud. Read the article by CLICKING HERE.

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Maine State Poetry Out Loud

March 24, 2017

Hot off the screen – POL video

The Maine Arts Commission Marketing Director Ryan Leighton created this video that documents the recent state Poetry Out Loud event. It is so great to hear what the students have to say about what POL means to them. If you’d like to learn more about the program in Maine please CLICK HERE.

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POL: Heading to the State Finals

March 2, 2017

Poetry Out Loud

Maine Arts Commission Announces Top Ten Poetry Out Loud Finalists

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-7-02-27-pmAUGUSTA, ME–The art of poetry and competition is alive and well in Maine, as 42 individual high school students competed at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals February 27 and 28.

This year’s regional poetry recitation contest was hosted at Hampden Academy in the north, and Thornton Academy in the south. The Maine Arts Commission, which administers the competition at the state level, is pleased to announce the top 10 finalists who will participate in the State Finals at the Waterville Opera House on March 13 at 3 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following Maine high school students – we are so proud of you!

Northern Maine Regional Champions

  • Natalie Lisnet, Grade 12, Bangor High School
  • Kate Hodgson, Grade 12, Camden Hills Regional High School
  • Emma Beyor, Grade 12, Erskine Academy
  • Gabrielle Cooper, Grade 12, Gardiner Area High School
  • Antyna Gould, Grade 12, Medomak Valley High School

Southern Maine Regional Champions

  • Amran Mahamed, Grade 11, Deering High School
  • Jordan Bryant, Grade 120, Greely High School
  • Sabrina Small, Grade 12, Maine Coast Waldorf School
  • Skyler Vaughn, Grade 12, Maine Girls Academy
  • Arielle Leeman, Grade 12 Morse High School
Poetry Out Loud Northern Regional Finalists left to right: Antyna Gould, Medomak Valley High School; Gabrielle Cooper, Gardiner Area High School; Emma Beyor, Erskine Academy; Kate Hodgson, Camden Hills Regional High School; Natalie Lisnet, Bangor High School.

Poetry Out Loud Northern Regional Finalists left to right: Antyna Gould, Medomak Valley High School; Gabrielle Cooper, Gardiner Area High School; Emma Beyor, Erskine Academy; Kate Hodgson, Camden Hills Regional High School; Natalie Lisnet, Bangor High School.

Poetry Out Loud is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation to encourage performance art, memorization, and public speaking skills in high schools nationwide. Since the contest started in 2005, nearly three million students and 10,000 schools have participated.  Maine high schools consistently draw a high participation rate from around the state.  The top-qualifying student from each participating school is then selected to compete in either the Northern or Southern Regional Finals. There are two rounds of recitation in which students must perform one poem written pre-20th century, and one poem that consists of 25 lines or fewer.  The final round is reserved for the top 10 performers to recite one final poem. Performances are judged on the student’s physical presence, vocal articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding of the poem.  The juried panel then chooses the top five finalists from each region to move on the State Finals.

Poetry Out Loud Southern Regional Finalists left to right: Sabrina Small, Maine Coast Waldorf School; Skyler Vaughn, The Maine Girls’ Academy; Arielle Leeman, Morse High School; Jordan Bryant, Greely High School; Amran Mahamed, Deering High School.

Poetry Out Loud Southern Regional Finalists left to right: Sabrina Small, Maine Coast Waldorf School; Skyler Vaughn, The Maine Girls’ Academy; Arielle Leeman, Morse High School; Jordan Bryant, Greely High School; Amran Mahamed, Deering High School.

The Maine State Finals will take place on March 13 at the Waterville Opera House. The doors will open at 2:30 p.m. The state champion will receive $200 and a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for the winner’s school. The winner will then be flown to Washington D.C. in April to participate in the National Finals and compete for a total of  $50,000 in awards and school stipends, as well as a $20,000 scholarship.

For more information about the State and National Finals, please visit Maine Arts Commission: Poetry Out Loud 2017 or contact Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

 

 

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Poetry in Washington County

December 14, 2016

POL

As part of Maine’s Poetry Out Loud program the Maine Arts Commission provided a learning opportunity for teachers and students in Washington County. Teaching artist Brian Evans-Jones went from school to school spending a half day at each school including several classes. Brian is a member of the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster located at HERE. At each school Brian provided a slightly different program that fit the needs of the students from each school. Calais, Washington Memorial, and Narraguagus High Schools participated in this first time project.

machiasBrian used a variety of instructional techniques to guide students in their learning around poetry and writing. He recited his own and others poems and students responded by answering two questions: What happened in the poem and what were the emotions? Students picked up on the emotions of the poem and the specific moments and poetic techniques that conveyed  the feelings. Brian taught a method to memorize called “chaining”. One key word per line to memorize those first, and then each line one by one. Brian led students through ways to convey emotions using voice—pitch, volume, pauses, speed, emphasis— and asked them to try out different ways to convey the emotional “hot spots” of the poem.

With one group Brian focused on writing poetry. He asked them to write The down words and phrases that were linked with an activity they really enjoyed doing. First they wrote things they might use, then where, when, and with whom it happened, and lastly how it made them feel. These were all on small pieces of paper. Then on longer strips they wrote a few words to describe or follow on from each of the first set of words. Then they changed the sequence of what they’d written to make a poem. Brian left with everyone’s poems “shaping up to be lovely”.

Brian also taught a smaller class for interested students where they each made a short free write about a memory and then selected phrases from it to be the backbone of a poem.

calaisI’m sure that you can tell from the description that Brian’s time spent teaching and supporting poetry in Washington county was a success. The Maine Arts Commission is so glad that they received a small amount of additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for Poetry Out Loud this year to provide this opportunity. We’re looking forward to the feedback from students and teachers to get a clear picture of the impact.

There are 45 Maine high schools participating in Poetry Out Loud program. Each school has scheduled a school based program to determine who will represent them at the Northern or Southern Maine Regional Finals. The State Finals are taking place at Waterville Opera House on March 13, 3 p.m. and is open to the public at no cost.To learn more about the Poetry Out Loud program in Maine please CLICK HERE. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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In Today’s News

May 5, 2016

Congratulations Rose – Maine’s 2016 State POL Champ

Press Release
Subject: Announcing the 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Champion

Last night, May 4, 2016, Akhei Togun, age 17, a senior at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach, VA won the title of 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Togun won the final round with “Bereavement,” by William Lisle Bowles.

2016-pol-53-champs-largeThe second-place winner was Marta Palombo, 18, a senior at Cambridge High School in Alpharetta, Georgia.  The third-place winner was Nicholas Amador, age 15, a sophomore at Punahou High School in Honolulu, HI.

Students and schools received $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, and $10,000 and $5,000 for the second- and third-place finalists. The fourth- to ninth-place finalists each received $1,000. The schools of the top nine finalists received $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

In honor of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, this year the 53 state champions competing at the National Finals were offered another opportunity to showcase their creativity through an optional competition called Poetry Ourselves. The teens were encouraged to submit an original work of poetry in two categories–written poems or spoken word–both of which were judged by noted poet Patricia Smith. Rose Horowitz of Maine placed first in the written category, while second place went to Hunter Hazelton of Arizona. In the spoken category, top honors went to Maddie Lukomski of South Dakota, with Madison Heggins of Texas earning second place.

Now celebrating its eleventh year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals are the culmination of a yearlong poetry education program involving some 317,000 students from more than 2,300 high schools around the country.  High school teachers who want to learn how to get involved in next year’s program can visit www.poetryoutloud.org.

Read more about the 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Finals at the NEA Art Works blog.

Photos and video of the nine finalists from the May 3 semifinals and May 4 finals are available at this link.

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Poetry Out Loud State Finals

March 7, 2016

March 15, 3:00 PM, Waterville Opera House

THE MAINE ARTS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES POETRY OUT LOUD STATE FINALS
Maine High School Students Compete in National Poetry Recitation Contest

Augusta, ME—The Maine Arts Commission is presenting the 2016 Maine State Finals for Poetry Out Loud, a National Poetry Recitation Contest, on March 15 at 3 p.m. at the Waterville Opera House. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is free and open to the public. Jennifer Rooks, MPBN’s Public Affairs Host, will be the emcee. Doors open to the public at 2:30 p.m. and no tickets are required.

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Since Poetry Out Loud began, millions of students at more than 7,300 schools nationwide have been involved. This school year, almost 10,000 Maine students have participated in the program, providing them with an opportunity to master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

“Poetry Out Loud is one of many examples of high-quality, partnership-based programs that the NEA offers to schools and communities across the country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “By helping students foster creative thinking skills and inspire self-expression, we are laying a foundation for lifelong learning in the arts.”

Poetry Out Loud is organized by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, and is administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. It began this year in Maine’s high schools where each school selected a champion to compete in a regional competition. From the two regional finals, 10 students were selected to compete in the State Finals. One student will move on from the State Finals 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.

Congratulations to the following students who will participate in the Maine State Finals at the Waterville Opera House:
•  Lydia Caron, Bangor High School
•  Morgan Steward, Carrabec High School
•  Shiloh Munsen, Freeport High School
•  Charlotte Benoit, Greely High School
•  Danielle Barrett, Hampden Academy
•  Sylvia Holland, Maine Coast Waldorf School
•  Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School
•  Owen Sinclair, Rangeley Lakes Regional School
•  Anna Bucklin, Searsport District High School
•  Ben Millspaugh, Waynflete School

For more information, please visit http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/POL-Home or contact Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

Southern Region State Finalists left to right: Charlotte Benoit, Greely High School; Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School; Ben Millspaugh, Waynflete School; Sylvia Holland, Maine Coast Waldorf School; Shilo Munsen, Freeport High School

Southern Region State Finalists left to right: Charlotte Benoit, Greely High School; Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School; Ben Millspaugh, Waynflete School; Sylvia Holland, Maine Coast Waldorf School; Shilo Munsen, Freeport High School

Northern Region State Finalists left to right: Lydia Caron, Bangor High School; Morgan Steward, Carrabec High School; Danielle Barrett, Hampden Academy; Owen Sinclair, Rangeley Lakes Regional School; Anna Bucklin, Searsport District High School

Northern Region State Finalists left to right: Lydia Caron, Bangor High School; Morgan Steward, Carrabec High School; Danielle Barrett, Hampden Academy; Owen Sinclair, Rangeley Lakes Regional School; Anna Bucklin, Searsport District High School

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