High school students from all across Wyoming will be coming to Cheyenne, WY on March 4-5, 2013 to participate in the state-level POL competition which awards $1,000 in cash prizes. The competition will be held at the Atlas Theatre in Cheyenne at 7 PM on March 4th and is open to the public. Winners will be announced in the Capitol rotunda the morning of March 5th.
In conjunction with Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud state finals, guest judge Henry Real Bird will conduct a public poetry workshop on March 3 at the Laramie County Public Library from 1-3:30 p.m.
Real Bird was born and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in the tradition of the Crow by his grandparents. He has punched cows and worked in rodeos. Real Bird began writing poetry in 1969 after an extended stay in the hospital. He still speaks Crow as his primary language and feels this has helped in writing his poetry. He holds a master’s degree in general education from MSU Billings and has taught school from kindergarten to college levels. He currently teaches K, 4th and 6th grades at Northern Cheyenne Tribal School and is also the director for Crow Tribe Head Start and the Seven Hills Healing Center. He was Interim President at Little Big Horn College from 2001-02.
He began working with the YMCA Writer’s Voice in 1992 as a visiting poet and has since shared his work and the Crow language with thousands of students and teachers across Montana. As an instructor he infuses a love of language and an appreciation of landscape into the minds of his audience and students.
In 1996 Real Bird won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He and Stephanie Davis performed her song, “Why the Cowboy Sings” at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. He also performs annually at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Real Bird has had six anthologies, five poetry collections and twelve children’s books published, along with many other articles, tapes and CDs. Real Bird’s workshop, “Shadows of Home” will “take participants beyond reflection so our thoughts can search for rhyme, exploring the sounds and tunes of life.”
The workshop is free and open to the public. Real Bird will also be signing his selected publications, which will be available for purchase.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have joined together to create Poetry Out Loud (POL), a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Wyoming Poetry Out Loud is administered by the Wyoming Arts Council. POL serves every state and the U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. More than 300,000 students participate annually, and that number continues to grow. The inspiration for the competition is to promote the art of poetry in both the classroom and the community, and provides an entry point for many students to learn to love poetry and find poems that will stay with them for a lifetime.
POL is for high-school students (grades 9-12) at both public and private schools. Eighth graders enrolled in 9th-grade coursework are eligible to compete, at the discretion of the state POL coordinator. Homeschooled students must compete at some level of competition before the state finals. If you are a homeschooled student and would like more information about participating in a contest, please contact the POL coordinator at the bottom of this page. POL begins in the classroom, with participating teachers using the POL teacher toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Following a pyramid structure, classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and the state winner goes to the national finals.
NCTE Standards and Classroom Time
Poetry Out Loud satisfies more than half of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students will have opportunities to discuss poems and to write their own poetry. The program guide includes optional lesson plans, and other elements the teacher needs to implement POL easily into the classroom. The schedule and curriculum for Poetry Out Loud allows the program to take place over two to three weeks, according to each teacher’s interest and schedule, and will not require full class periods during that time. Linda Coatney to have a packet of materials sent to you.
Free Program Materials
These materials are sent upon receipt of the Intent to Participate form in this packet.
Each state-level final competition will award $1,000 in cash prizes. Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The second-place finalist in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library.
Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarship prizes 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 remaining nine finalists each receive $1,000, and the schools of the top 12 finalists each will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
Contest Time Frame and Deadlines:
Statewide Contest Travel Information
Schools are asked to provide transportation (state car or school bus) for their winner and chaperone. Mileage is paid for those teachers/chaperones who must drive their own vehicle. Hotel rooms and some meals are provided in Cheyenne. Once a school has determined its champion, contact Camellia El-Antably at (307) 777-5305.
Read about Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud winners
Contact: Camellia El-Antably