Wyoming Arts Council

Sign up now for Wyoming Poetry Out Loud

dylan collins 2015

Dylan Collins, winner of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud state finals in Cheyenne.

The Wyoming Arts Council invites interested language arts, speech/debate and drama teachers and students to take part in Poetry Out Loud (POL), 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.

The sign-up deadline for Wyoming Poetry Out Loud is Dec. 18, 2015.

The program materials are available now from the Wyoming Arts Council. The school contests will take place through Jan. 22, 2016. The state finals will take place in Cheyenne March 7-8, 2016. Program materials are also available on the web site at www.poetryoutloud.org.

POL 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.

Student contestants in 2015 came from Sundance, Buffalo, Hulett, Kaycee, Riverton, Casper, Clearmont, and Jackson.

Dylan Collins, a senior at Arvada-Clearmont High School, won the 2015 Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition Feb. 2-3 in Cheyenne. It was the sixth consecutive year that an Arvada-Clearmont student has won the state title in the 10-year history of this poetry memorization and recitation competition.

As is the case with all state winners, Collins received an expenses-paid trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C. He was one of only 53 students in a competition that involved 1,500 high schools and 365,000 students nationwide. More than $50,000 in scholarship money is at stake at the national finals, which will be held May 4, 2016, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

If a school is interested in participating in Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud competition, or needs further information, please contact Rachel Clifton at Rachel.clifton@wyo.gov, 307-777-5305.

Home page photo: 2015 Poetry Out Loud awards ceremony at the State Capitol. Shown (left to right) are Jillian Balow, state superintendent of public instruction; state champion Dylan Collins of Arvada-Clearmont H.S.; Wyoming Poet Laureate Echo Klaproth of Shoshoni; and Michael Lange, executive director, Wyoming Arts Council. 

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