Monday, March 7, 2011

Poetry Out Loud Final in Lewiston Friday

The Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston will be the venue for a celebration of poetry this Friday, March 11, as a new Maine State Poet Laureate will be announced before the state final of Poetry Out Loud.

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest, organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, which brings together one high school student from each state and territory in the U.S. in Washington, D.C., to decide a national champion, who will receive a $20,000 scholarship.

Before the national final, students compete in Maine at the classroom, school, and regional level to be one of ten Maine finalists. These ten students, from an astounding 8,500 who began the competition in Maine, will be on stage reciting poetry in Lewiston.

Each of the 10 state finalists will recite three poems selected from an anthology of master works compiled for this competition. Competitors will be evaluated by a bank of judges based on their accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Cumulative scores from all three rounds will determine a state champion. The winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The second place finalist will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The evening will also feature the music of emcee Emilia Dahlin.

Doors for the event will open at 5:00pm on Friday, March 11, and the competition and associated activities will run from 5:30-8:00pm. All are welcome to attend free of charge.

You can watch a video of the 2010 state final on YouTube.

The students competing at this year’s final are:
Ian Hawkes, 12th grade, Gorham High School; Bethanie Brown, 10th grade, Waterville Sr. High School; Crystal Farrington, 12th grade, Lake Region High School; Lulu Hawkes, 11th grade, Catherine McAuley High School; Eloise Harnett, 11th grade, Gardiner Area High School; Morgan Wiggan, 10th grade, Thornton Academy; Bethany Bernhardt, 10th grade, Erksine Academy; Genevieve Shepard, 12th grade, Searsport District High School; Muyne Mohamed, 12th grade, Portland High School; Frank Schuth, 9th grade, Shead High School.

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