Wyoming Arts Council

Poetry Out Loud State Finals held March 6 at LCCC

The Wyoming Arts Council hosts the Poetry Out Loud State Finals Competition on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Laramie Community College Playhouse in the College Community Center, 1400 E. College Drive.

Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue. The public is invited to attend both events.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is the national recitation and memorization contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. Designed specifically for students in grades 9-12 attending public, private or home schools, the POL program is a fun way to teach and learn language arts standards through poetry.

Last year’s winner, Lucy Martinez of Summit High School in Jackson, receives her award certificate from State Auditor Cynthia Cloud.

Eleven students from high schools around Wyoming will participate in the state competition. Participating schools are: Kaycee High School, Western Heritage Lutheran Academy (Riverton), Sundance Secondary School, Summit High School (Jackson), Star Lane Center (Casper), Sheridan High School, Arvada Clearmont High School/Jr. High, Moorcroft High School, Whiting High School, Worland High School, and Buffalo High School.

Each school champion will recite 3 poems each. The state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete at the National Finals. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100; his or her school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry books.

This year’s judges for the state competition are Colorado poet Adrian Molina, Wyoming poet Matt Daly, Wyoming’s Poet Laureate Eugene Gagliano, and University of Wyoming student and Past Poetry Out Loud Contestant Sara Ellingrod. The event will be emceed by Wyoming Public Radio’s Education Reporter, Tennessee Watson. Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow, will be the Master of Ceremonies for the Awards Ceremony.

Poetry Out Loud builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, encouraging the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Students can work on mastering comprehension, public speaking, acting, performance, drama and English skills while building self-confidence and internalizing our rich literary heritage.

For more information, please contact Tara Pappas at tara.pappas@wyo.gov.

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