Friday, February 1, 2013

The State Poetry Finals Are Here

After months of high school competitions all around the state, 40 students are left preparing for regional and state finals. Emerging from over 8,000 competing students, these school champions are ready to take to the stage in Ellsworth and Biddeford to showcase their poetry recitation skills. Ten finalists will go on to the state final in Bangor where one will be chosen to represent Maine at the national final in Washington, D.C., in April.

If you are someone who is interested in poetry, the spoken word, or simply enjoy hearing some of Maine’s most talented students represent their schools, then this is an event that you will not want to miss. All Maine Arts Commission Poetry Out Loud events are free to attend.

The Northern Regional Final takes place at 3:45pm, on Wednesday February 6, at the Grand in Ellsworth. The Southern Regional Final takes place at 3:45pm at the City Theatre in Biddeford on February 13. The State Final is in Bangor on March 20 at the Gracie Theatre.

The Maine state champion will be awarded $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship in April 2013. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Participants at the national level will be awarded a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends; a $20,000 award will be presented to the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

The program was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation as a way to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry – recitation and performance. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

For more information contact Darrell Bulmer at the Maine Arts Commission at 207/287-6746 or through e-mail at

Below is a comprehensive list of the students competing at the regional finals:

Northern Schools Emma Howard, Bangor High School Kobe Cancel, Carrabec High School Abby Waceken, Erskine Academy Christian E. Heath, Gardiner Area High School Gabrielle Brodek, Hampden Academy Emma Curnin, Kents Hill School Alexandra Ackroyd, Maine Central Institute Joshua Beckett, Medomak Valley Jai Aslam, Messalonskee High School Forrest Norcott, Mt. Abram High School Emma Michalowski, Presque Isle High School Abigail Abbott, Rangeley Lakes Regional School Brianna Housman, Searsport District High School Brennin Consalvi, Shead High School Brittany Pomeroy, Sumner Memorial High School Bethanie Brown, Waterville Senior High School

Southern Schools Skyler Gailing, Berwick Academy Anna Baumm, Boothbay Region High School Griffin Carpenter, Cape Elizabeth High School Julia Cornell, Catherine McAuley High School Iman Omar, Deering High School Molly Stewart, Gorham High School Meghan Vadeboncoeur, Gray-New Gloucester High School Samantha Toorish, Greely High School Katie Charlton, Kennebunk High School Hana Hassan, Lewiston High School Aaron Halls, Lisbon High School Skyler Samuelson, Merriconeag Waldorf School Monica Frempong, Morse High School Isabelle Fall, Mt. Ararat High School Charlotte Eisenberg, North Yarmouth Academy Emma Weissenfels, Oak Hill High School Ellen Tuttle, Saint Dominic Academy James Falconer, South Portland High School Morgan Wiggan, Thornton Academy Dyer Rhoads, Waynflete School Amelia French, Yarmouth High School

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