SALT LAKE CITY – Six students from throughout Utah will compete on Wednesday, March 15, for an opportunity to compete in the national Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C.
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums presents the state finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition sponsored by The Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. This free event will be held Wednesday, March 15, at 7 p.m., in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts at Westminster College.
During the competition, students will recite works selected from an anthology of nearly 600 classic and contemporary poems. The state champion represents Utah in Washington, D.C., April 25 – 26, 2017 and competes for $20,000.
High schools around the state participated in Poetry Out Loud activities and competed in six region competitions held in Brigham City, Gunnison, Ogden, Provo, St. George, and Salt Lake City. Region winners competing at the state level are:
- Emma Tackett, Bear River High School, Brigham City
- Pry, Desert Hills Middle School, St. George
- Ben Engel, Skyline High School, Salt Lake City
- Madeleine Eliason, Legacy Preparatory Academy, Woods Cross
- Megan Young, Merit College Preparatory Academy, Springville
- Cody Howell, North Sanpete High School, Mt. Pleasant
The emcee for the evening is Johann Jacobs, Utah Arts Council chairperson. Utah Poet Laureate Lance Larsen will read and Justine Haka will represent the Poetry Foundation. Since 2006, five Utah winners have placed in the top 10 of the national finals of Poetry Out Loud. The 2016 finals will be held at George Washington University April 25-26, 2017. The semifinals and finals webcast live may be seen at arts.gov.
Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on trends in poetry recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, the spoken word, and theatre into the English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.