Poetry Out Loud
In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation joined together to create Poetry Out Loud, a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance. Poetry Out Loud begins in the classroom as students select poems to recite from the Poetry Out Loud anthology of more than 650 classic and contemporary poems.
The program follows a pyramid structure. Students first compete against each other in a classroom contest, with champions advancing to a school-wide competition. A regional and/or state competition is then held to select two winners to compete at the National Finals.
Bellingham’s Viva Becker and Margot Lewis earned the two top spots in Northwest Educational Service District 189’s Poetry Out Loud Regional Final which was held on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at the Burlington Library in Burlington Washington.
Ms. Becker, of Sehome Whidbey High School, recited Beautiful Wreckage by W.D. Ehrhart and “Hope” is a thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson. Ms. Lewis recited My Grandmother’s Love Letters by Hart Crane and To the Ladies by Lady Mary Chudleigh.
Becker and Lewis now advance to the state finals, scheduled for Saturday, March 9th, at the Theatre on the Square in Tacoma. Twelve winners from around the state will participate in the State Final. The winner will represent Washington State in the National Finals in Washington D.C., April 28-30, 2013.
Additional participants in the regional event included Sydney Ackerman from South Whidbey High School, Olivia Capron from Burlington-Edison High School, Joe Edwards from Mount Vernon High School, Sean Ferrill from Highland Christian School, Caroline Haywood from Darrington High School, Taylor Huff from Stanwood High School, Emily Olson from Everett High School, Braulio Ramos from Marysville Getchell High School, Maxim Shmotolokha from St. Paul’s Academy, Elijah Thompson from Squalicum High School and Brenna Ware from Anacortes High School.
Poetry Out Loud is sponsored regionally by the Northwest Educational Service District 189 in Anacortes, and across the state by the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Poetry Foundation. This is the sixth year that high school students in Washington State were a part of Poetry Out Loud, a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry. More than 150,000 students across the country were expected to participate this year. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with a $20,000 college scholarship for the National Champion.
Visit www.poetryoutloud.org for more information on this national program or visit www.arts.wa.gov to learn more about the local competition.
Poetry Out Loud Fact Sheet - 2012-2013
If you need additional assistance please contact one of the NWESD staff members below for more information.