Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poetry Out Loud State Finals

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is a program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. It will hold its Maine finals on February 27 at the Camden Opera House. The competition is free to the public and will begin at 5:00 p.m. Felicia Knight will be the host for the evening and Maine’s First Lady, Karen Baldacci, will present the awards to the competing students. As an added bonus, Tim Sample will be on stage throughout the competition bringing a mix of poetry and light hearted humor to the proceedings. Sample, who is more commonly known as a world famous Downeast humorist, will be sharing some of his favorite poems that he has performed including works by Vassalboro author Holman Day.

This contest will decide the Maine state champion, who will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the national finals in Washington, DC, on April 26-April 28, 2009. The National Finals will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends. In total, Poetry Out Loud will award more than $100,000 at state- and national-level contests.

Each year around 225,000 students compete in this national competition that produces 53 finalists from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Highlights from last year's competition can be viewed below.

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