Poetry Out Loud state finals to held in Barre, Wednesday March 28

For immediate release
Mar. 12, 2012

Stacy Raphael
Phone: 802-828-3778

MONTPELIER – Riding the wave of interest in poetry recitation and performance, students from 33 Vermont high schools will be competing in a national competition called Poetry Out Loud. The program builds on the rising interest in poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the popularity of rap music. Students learn about great poetry while mastering public speaking skills and building self-confidence.

One of last year’s students has this to say about the program, “I really enjoy the unique things that Poetry Out Loud brings to schools around the state. For the past two years I have enjoyed watching shy and quiet students in my school get up and recite poems in front of all their peers all because of Poetry Out Loud.”

Vermont’s state finals will take place on Wednesday, March 28th at the Barre Opera House. The two regional semi-finals are at 10 AM and 1PM, and the state final will be held at 4:00 PM. The winner will represent Vermont at the National competition in Washington, DC on May 13-15, 2012. (Participating schools listed below)

The program was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is administered by the Vermont Arts Council. Now in its sixth year in Vermont, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover classic and contemporary poetry.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. Teachers organize contests involving one class or a whole school with the winners advancing to the state finals. Contestants can choose poems from an extensive anthology of classical and contemporary poetry. Vermont’s champion will receive a cash prize of $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship. Their school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for their school library.

Students from 53 high schools – champions from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – will compete for a total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends at the National Finals. Judges will evaluate student performances on physical presence, articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy. The National Champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.

For more information about Vermont’s State Finals, visit www.vermontartscouncil.org.

2012 Participating Schools:

Addison County:
Mt. Abraham Union High School, Bristol
Middlebury Union High School

Bennington County:
Arlington Memorial High School
Burr and Burton Academy, Manchester
Mt. Anthony Union High School, Bennington

Caledonia County:
Lyndon Institute
St. Johnsbury Academy

Chittenden County:
Burlington High School
Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg
Essex High School
Milton High School
Mt. Mansfield Union High School, Jericho
Rice Memorial High School, S. Burlington
South Burlington High School

Franklin County:
Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans

Lamoille County:
People’s Academy, Morrisville

Orange County:
Blue Mountain Union High School, Wells River
Oxbow Union High School, Bradford
Randolph Union High School
Thetford Academy

Orleans County:
Lake Region Union High, Orleans
North Country UHS, Newport

Rutland County:
Fair Haven Union High School
Mill River Union High School, No. Clarendon
Otter Valley Union High School, Brandon
Rutland High School

Washington County:
Spaulding High School, Barre

Windham County:
Brattleboro Union High School
Twin Valley High School, Wilmington

Windsor County:
Black River High School, Ludlow
Green Mountain Union High School, Chester
The Sharon Academy

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