Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition takes place February 2-3 in Cheyenne


Sara Ellingrod from Arvada Clearmont High School won the 2014 Wyoming Poetry Out Loud championship at the South High School auditorium in Cheyenne.

The 10th Annual Wyoming Poetry Out Loud state competition takes place Feb. 2-3 in Cheyenne. Ten student competitors, along with their teachers, parents and guests are expected. The competition begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2, at the Cheyenne Civic Center. This event is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the state winner and runner-up will be announced at the awards ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. Prizes include cash awards for winner and runner up, and each earns money for their school library to purchase poetry books.

The Wyoming Arts Council is a partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation for Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students in 9th-12th grade to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

This year, student contestants hail from Arvada Clearmont High School, Fort Mackenzie High School in Sheridan, Sundance Secondary, Western Heritage Lutheran Academy in Riverton, Fort Washakie High School, Kaycee School, Star Lane Center in Casper, Summit High School in Jackson, Hulett School and Buffalo High School.

Judges and guest presenters include Wyoming Poet Laureate Echo Klaproth of Shoshoni, Rawlins native and Denver-based spoken-word poet Adrian Molina, Rick Kempa of Rock Springs, Jackson’s Matt Daly and a 2014 National Student Poet Program winner, Julia Falkner of Louisville, Colo. Micah Schweizer, cultural affairs and production director at Wyoming Public Media, will serve as emcee.

The state winner and a chaperone receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete at the national finals in Washington, D.C., April 27-29. Scholarships and cash prizes totaling $50,000 are awarded to the national champion and the other place winners.

FMI: Katie Christensen, 307-777-7109; katie.christensen@wyo.gov

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