PUBLISHED: 4:14 PM on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Alaska high schools invited to compete in national poetry recitation contest
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. From September, 2007 through February, 2008, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school wide contests, advancing to a state competition in March, 2008. State champions will advance to the National Finals, to take place on April 27-29, 2008 in Washington, DC.

Deja Husberg of Chugiak High School was selected as the 2007 Alaska Poetry Out Loud champion and represented the state in the 2007 National Finals in Washington, DC last May.

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. High school teachers who are interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud should know that the program requires less than two or three weeks of class time. High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must contact the Alaska State Council on the Arts to participate. All high schools are eligible to take part in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Home school students should coordinate with local high schools to participate. Contact Susan Olson, Arts Education Director for the Alaska State Council on the Arts at (907) 269-6682 or toll-free in Alaska at 1-888-278-7424 or visit for more information.

Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his/her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the National Finals, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.