Story last updated at 3/13/2013 - 2:06 pm
The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council announce the state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. On March 19, at 5 p.m., 10 high school students from around the state, will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.
The Alaskan Finalists are: Natalia Spengler from Juneau Douglas High School; Samantha Saige Thomas from Chugiak High School; Tong Thao from Colony High School, Palmer; Sarina Montgomery from Lathrop High School, Fairbanks; Brittni Tully from Revilla Alternative High School, Ketchikan; Hazel Underwood from Kenny Lake School, Copper Center; Mark Sawyer Gillilan from IDEA - Region K; Thaddeus Steve from Stebbins/ Tukurngailnguq School, Stebbins; Annamarie Pike from Sitka High School; and Andrea Irrigoo representing Kodiak High School.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. Some 365,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools took part in the 2011-2012 Poetry Out Loud program.
Contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 650 classic and contemporary poems. Students participating in the Poetry Out Loud program have benefited from educational materials created by the Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation. These materials include a standards-based Teacher's Guide, a comprehensive website, a Learning Recitation DVD, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins and Rita Dove.
"The Poetry Out Loud program provides an excellent way for young Alaskans to improve their speaking and presentation skills, while celebrating and learning the art of poetry," said Alaska State Council on the Arts Executive Director Shannon Daut. "I am very proud that over 4,000 Alaskan students compete to make it to the state finals in the Capital City, from which the winner moves on to represent the Last Frontier at the national finals in Washington, DC."
ASCA Chairman Ben Brown said, "We at the State Council on the Arts are thrilled at the success of Poetry Out Loud, which has grown geometrically since its inception several years ago. It is truly inspiring that so many students have jumped into this poetry recitation contest with such enthusiasm, and the results are there for all Alaskans to see and appreciate."
Poetry Out Loud Awards
The winner of the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud finals will receive $200, and the winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library.
The Alaska state champion of the Poetry Out Loud will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals in Washington, DC, on April 29-30, 2013. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will bestow a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.
Alaska Poetry Out Loud finals at Juneau Arts and Culture Center
The Poetry Out Loud Alaska finals will take place on Tuesday, March 19 at 5pm at Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The masters of ceremonies will be Shona Strauser and Bostin Christopher of Juneau's Perseverance Theatre. Guest judges for the event include writer, photographer, musician and conservationist Kim Heacox of Gustavus, singer-songwriter Marian Call of Juneau, author Lynn Schooler of Juneau, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Emily Wall of Juneau, and retired high school English teacher, radio broadcaster and journalist JoAnn Ross Cunningham of Haines.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the state finals,
Contact Juneau Arts & Humanities Council at 586-2787, or visit www.jahc.org or www.poetryoutloud.org.