Wyoming Arts Council

Deadline extended for Poetry Out Loud

The sign-up deadline for Wyoming Poetry Out Loud has been moved to Jan. 4, 2008.

The National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, and the Poetry Foundation, the nation’s largest literary organization, have partnered together with the Wyoming Arts Council to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across America.

Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among our youth. The program encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize our rich literary heritage.

The program materials are available now from the Wyoming Arts Council. The school contests will take place during the spring semester of this school year, culminating in the state finals in Cheyenne March 10-11. Many of the program materials are also available on the website at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/.

Last year, eight schools from across Wyoming participated in the program. Josh Schaberg from Buffalo High School, a second-time school winner, won the state finals and represented Wyoming at the national finals in Washington, D.C. In 2006, our first Wyoming POL winner was Kamaria Stephens of Cheyenne East High School.

This information may be shared with drama, speech and language arts teachers teaching grades 9-12. Please respond by Jan. 4, 2008. If a school is interested in participating in Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud competition, or needs further information, please contact Mike Shay at (307) 777-5234 or mshay@state.wy.us or Marcia Dunsmore, project coordinator, at poetryoutloud@rushmore.com.

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