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Poetry Out Loud Contest

Poetry Out Loud Logo

in partnership with the
North Dakota Council on the Arts

North Dakota Council on the Arts Announces the Winners of the Poetry Out Loud State Finals

The North Dakota Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is Stephen Gasser of Minot High School, Magic City Campus in Minot, ND. The second place winner is Matthew Donahue of Shanley High School in Fargo, ND. Third place was awarded to Levi Brown of Cavalier Public School in Cavalier, ND. Dorothy Tegtmeier of Northern Cass County High School, and Caleb M. Lee of Wahpeton High School also placed in the top five. The competition was presented in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The state finals competition took place on Monday, March 19, at the Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck, ND. Stephen Gasser will advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on May 13-15, 2012, where a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be awarded.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic competition to high schools across the country.  Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to the school-wide competition, then to the state capital competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.

At the state competition, all the contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 400 classic and contemporary poems. The NEA and Poetry Foundation created a standards-based teacher’s guide, a comprehensive website, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, Alyssa Milano, N. Scott Momaday, and Rita Dove.

Emcee Debra Marquart and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Rebecca Engelman, presented the awards to the participants. All participating contestants received a $25 book store gift card, certificate of participation, a poetry book, an engraved dog tag necklace and an engraved bookmark. As first place winner, Stephen also received a trophy, medallion, $200, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and his school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. As second place winner, Matthew also received a trophy, medallion, $100, plus $200 for his school library. As third place winner, Levi also received a trophy, medallion, and an additional $25 gift card. As the first place winner, Stephen will also be taking home the North Dakota Poetry Out Loud traveling trophy.

Open to the public a Coffee House and Open Mic event was held between the semi-finals and finals round. This event was coordinated and facilitated by Christen Nagel and Mike Garvey from Bismarck High School, with assistance from the Bismarck Lit Club. Students from participating schools, visiting students, adults, and teachers alike took part in this event.

The North Dakota state competition judges included: Janelle Masters, Dean of Academic Affairs, Bismarck State College; Nita K. Ritzke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; and the accuracy judge was Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. Debra Marquart, author/songwriter and Professor of English at Iowa State University was the event Emcee. Debra entertained the audience with a selection of her poems and songs. Live entertainment during the semi-finals was provided by Trio Apollo of Bismarck.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org, or contact Rebecca Engelman at (701) 328-7593 or via email at rengelman@nd.gov.

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Statewide Poetry Out Loud Competition is March 19, 2012!

The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, have once again partnered with state agencies to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across America. The North Dakota State Finals will be held at the Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck on March 19, 2012. This event is free and open to the public. Trio Apollo, a Bismarck-based woodwind trio, will be performing between student recitations during the semi-finals event. The winner of the state finals will advance to the National Finals, in Washington, DC, on May 13-15. At the competition there will be a Coffee House and Open Mic which is open to the public and takes place in the conductors room, between the semifinals and finals. Students from the Bismarck High School Lit Club are coordinating this event. The ND Council on the Arts is excited to announce the return of Debra Marquart as this year’s emcee. Debra is a professor of English at Iowa State University. She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. To learn more about Debra, visit www.debramarquart.com. Competition judges include: Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; Janelle Masters, Dean of Academic Affairs, Bismarck State College; Nita Ritzke, Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; and Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. To learn more about Poetry Out Loud, contact NDCA at, 1600 East Century Avenue, Suite 6, Bismarck, ND 58503; call (701) 328-7593; visit www.nd.gov/arts; or e-mail: rengelman@nd.gov.

What is Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest?
Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation and is administered in partnership with the North Dakota Council on the Arts to encourage our nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. By encouraging high school students in grades nine through twelve to memorize and perform great poems, this exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Who participates in Poetry Out Loud?
Thousands of high school students in grades nine through twelve from across the nation participated in Poetry Out Loud this past year. The competition begins at the classroom level, with winners advancing to a school-wide competition, then to State Finals at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND on March 19, 2012. One student from each state competes at the National Finals in Washington DC in May 13-15, 2012, where $50,000 dollars in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded.

What resources are available to help you with Poetry Out Loud?
The NEA and the Poetry Foundation provide free curriculum materials for use by participating schools.  These materials include print and online anthologies containing more than 400 classic and contemporary poems; a website (www.poetryoutloud.org); a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance; and a CD featuring well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, James Earl Jones, Alysso Milano, David Schwimmer, and N. Scott Momaday.

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NDCA Seeks 2012 Poetry Out Loud Participants

On behalf of the North Dakota Council of the Arts (NDCA) we invite your participation in Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest - an exciting program which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry. The National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, and the Poetry Foundation, the nation’s largest literary organization, have partnered together with NDCA to bring Poetry Out Loud to high school students in grades nine through twelve.

The Poetry Out Loud program encourages your students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize our rich literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud materials will be sent to teachers who register for the program and participating schools will run the program during the fall and early winter. The program requires only two or three weeks of class time. The North Dakota State Finals will be held at the historic Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck, on March 19, 2012. Following the state finals, the National Finals will be held in Washington, DC, May 13-15, 2012.

Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include: print and online poetry anthologies; a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance; an audio CD featuring distinguished actors and writers; a best performances DVD/companion guide, promotional and media guides; and a comprehensive website. Hard copies of all materials are free for schools participating in the official program. All curriculum materials are also available for download on the Poetry Out Loud website (www.poetryoutloud.org). Schools not officially involved in the program are welcome to use the online materials.

A special feature for participating schools and teachers is the unique opportunity to schedule a visit from a professional North Dakota poet. During this classroom visit, the poet will provide a short performance and work with students on presentation skills. There will be no fee for this session and it is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Educators interested in registering in the official program, receiving the curriculum materials, or interested in having a North Dakota poet work with your class should send the enclosed registration form to the North Dakota Council on the Arts. Questions? Contact Rebecca Engelman at 701-328-7593 or email rengelman@nd.gov.

Registration deadline for 2011 State Competition is January 13, 2012!
Register Now via this link! (MS Word) | (PDF document)

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North Dakota Council on the Arts Announces the Winners of the
2011 Poetry Out Loud State Finals

The North Dakota Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is Karson Pederson of Watford City High School in Watford City, ND. The second place winner is Brianna Anderson of Shanley High School in Fargo, ND. Third place was awarded to Kaley Schwab of Mandan High School in Mandan, ND. Bethany Brumbaugh of Cavalier High School in Cavalier, and Sam Hager of St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck also placed in the top five. The competition was presented in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The state finals competition took place on Tuesday, March 15, at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. Karson Pederson will advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on April 27, 2011, where a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be awarded.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic competition to high schools across the country.  Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to the school-wide competition, then to the state capital competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.

At the state competition, Karson recited the poems Mrs. Caldera’s House of Things and Domestic Violence; Brianna recited the poems Cartoon Physics, Part 1 and Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art; and Kaley recited the poems A Dream Within a Dream and The River of Bees. All the contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 400 classic and contemporary poems. The NEA and Poetry Foundation created a standards-based teacher’s guide, a comprehensive website, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, Alyssa Milano, N. Scott Momaday, and Rita Dove.

Emcee Debra Marquart and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Linda Ehreth, presented the awards to the participants. All participating contestants received a $25 book store gift card, certificate of participation, an engraved dog tag necklace and an engraved bookmark. As first place winner, Karson also received a trophy, medallion, $200, an additional $25 gift card, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and her school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. As second place winner, Brianna also received a trophy, medallion, $100, an additional $25 gift card, plus $200 for her school library. As third place winner, Kaley also received a trophy, medallion, and an additional $25 gift card. First, second and third place winners also received a fused glass sun catcher made by North Dakota artist, Jason Lindell of Park River.

Open to the public a Coffee House and Open Mic event was held between the semi-finals and finals round. This event was coordinated and facilitated by Dania Farrah and Julia Balliet from Bismarck High School, with assistance from the Bismarck Lit Club. Students from participating schools, visiting students, adults, and teachers alike took part in this event.

The North Dakota state competition judges included: Janelle Masters, Dean of Academic Affairs, Bismarck State College; Nita K. Ritzke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; and the accuracy judge was Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. Debra Marquart, author/songwriter and Professor of English at Iowa State University was the event Emcee. Debra entertained the audience with a selection of her poems and songs. Live entertainment during the semi-finals was provided by Trio Apollo of Bismarck.

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The dates for the 2011 Poetry Out Loud competitions are as follows:

  • March 15, 2011 - North Dakota State Finals at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck
  • April 27-29, 2011 - Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC

Plan to Attend the Statewide Poetry Out Loud Competition March 15, 2011!

The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, have once again partnered with state agencies to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across America. The North Dakota State Finals will be held at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck on March 15, 2011. This event is free and open to the public. Trio Apollo, a Bismarck-based woodwind trio, will be performing between student recitations during the semi-finals event. The winner of the state finals will advance to the National Finals, in Washington, DC, on April 27-29, 2011.

At the competition there will be a Coffee House and Open Mic which is open to the public and takes place on the Mezzanine, between the semifinals and finals. Students from the Bismarck High School Lit Club are coordinating this event. In partnership with the ND Humanities Council, the ND Council on the Arts is excited to announce the return of Debra Marquart as this year’s emcee. Debra is a professor of English at Iowa State University. She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. To learn more about Debra, visit www.debramarquart.com. Competition judges include: Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; Janelle Masters, Dean of Academic Affairs, Bismarck State College; Nita Ritzke, Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; and Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. To learn more about Poetry Out Loud, contact NDCA at, 1600 East Century Avenue, Suite 6, Bismarck, ND 58503; call (701) 328-7593; or e-mail: lehreth@nd.gov.

What is Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest?
Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation and is administered in partnership with the North Dakota Council on the Arts to encourage our nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. By encouraging high school students in grades nine through twelve to memorize and perform great poems, this exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Who participates in Poetry Out Loud?
Thousands of high school students in grades nine through twelve from across the nation participated in Poetry Out Loud this past year. The competition begins at the classroom level, with winners advancing to a school-wide competition, then to State Finals at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND on March 15, 2011. One student from each state competes at the National Finals in Washington DC in April 27-29, 2011, where $50,000 dollars in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded.

What resources are available to help you with Poetry Out Loud?
The NEA and the Poetry Foundation provide free curriculum materials for use by participating schools.  These materials include print and online anthologies containing more than 400 classic and contemporary poems; a website (www.poetryoutloud.org); a teacher’s guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance; and a CD featuring well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, James Earl Jones, Alysso Milano, David Schwimmer, and N. Scott Momaday.

How can I get involved?
To learn more about Poetry Out Loud or to register for materials contact:
North Dakota Council on the Arts
1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 6, Bismarck, ND 58503
Telephone: 701-328-7593
Email: lehreth@nd.gov

Registration deadline for 2011 State Competition is January 14, 2011!
Register Now via this link! (MS Word) | (PDF document)

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North Dakota Poetry Out Loud Contestant Receives Honorable Mention at National Finals

From a competitive field of more than 320,000 students nationwide, Brianna Anderson of West Fargo, North Dakota, received an Honorable mention award at the National Finals held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. With her achievement she received a $1,000 cash award, and her high school, Shanley High School, received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. At the national finals, Brianna was accompanied by her parents, Tom and Kari Anderson, and English teacher, Lynda Lohmeier. Anderson was among 53 state champions from around the country who participated in the fifth national poetry recitation contest, sponsored by the National Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation.

“My experience at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals was incredible. It was such a unique opportunity to be in the presence of so many talented people, and I am humbled to have been in D.C. for the purpose of something as universal as the art of poetry. No matter where we came from, all fifty-three competitors were in the same place for the same reason: to share and experience poetry. Because we all come from different places and have our own unique backgrounds, we were able to see how we individually interpret and internalize things differently. If I remember anything about this experience fifty years from now, I hope that I remember how important it was and will always be to embrace our differences and still be able to come together to share our art.” ~ Brianna Anderson

Sixteen-year-old Amber Rose Johnson of Providence, Rhode Island, received the title of 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. With her achievement, she also receives a $20,000 award and her high school, Classical High School, will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals were held last night at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC.

The second-place winner was Ruth Haile of Sioux Falls Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who received a $10,000 award. The Maryland State Champion, Nora Sandler, of Richard Montgomery High School in Bethesda, Maryland, received the third place prize and a $5,000 award. In addition, each of the top nine finalists received a $1,000 award, and their schools received $500 each for the purchase of poetry books.

The other nine finalists include Alabama State Champion Youssef Biaz (Auburn, AL); Illinois State Champion Annette Putnam (Andover, IL); Montana State Champion Diego Javier Steele (Lolo, MT); Nevada State Champion Emily Orellana (Reno, NV); Virginia State Champion Tia Robinson (Warsaw, VA); Wisconsin State Champion Madeline Bunke (Brookfield, WI). Honorable mentions were also awarded to Shantelle Eddy, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, and Barbara Gooding of Frankfort, Kentucky. Guest judges presided over the competition, including Garrison Keillor, host of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, actress and activist Alfre Woodard, poets Valerie Martínez and Jane Shore, and poet and critic Adam Kirsch.

On April 26, 53 high school students – Poetry Out Loud champions from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – competed in three semifinal rounds based on geographic region. Nine students advanced to compete in the National Finals on April 27. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including physical presence, articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy. Students performed poems from the Poetry Out Loud print and online anthologies (www.poetryoutloud.org). The event was the culmination of a pyramid-structure competition that began last September among schools across the country.
For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org, or contact Linda Ehreth at (701) 328-7593 or via email at lehreth@nd.gov.

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North Dakota Council on the Arts Announces the Winners of the 2010 Poetry Out Loud State Finals

The North Dakota Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is Brianna Anderson of Shanley High School in Fargo, ND. The second place winner is Kaley Schwab of Mandan High School, and third place was awarded to Kaitlin McNary of Wahpeton High School. Rachel Nerison of Dakota Prairie School in Petersburg, Clare Geinert of Edgeley Public School, and Morgan Hessman of St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck also placed in the top six. The competition was presented in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The state finals competition took place on Tuesday, March 9, at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. Brianna Anderson will advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on April 25, 2010, where a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be awarded.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic competition to high schools across the country.  Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to the school-wide competition, then to the state capital competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.

At the state competition, Brianna recited the poems How We Made A New Art On Old Ground and On Monsieur’s Departure; Kaley recited the poems Father’s Old Blue Cardigan and The Gift; Kaitlin recited the poems Hate Poem and A Noiseless Patient Spider; Rachel recited Deliberate and When I Was Fair And Young; Clare recited Agoraphobia and The New Colossus; and Morgan recited Holy Sonnets: Death, Be Not Proud and Father’s Old Blue Cardigan. All the contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 400 classic and contemporary poems. The NEA and Poetry Foundation created a standards-based teacher’s guide, a comprehensive website, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, Alyssa Milano, N. Scott Momaday, and Rita Dove.

Emcee Debra Marquart and special guest Justine Chiappetta, presented the awards to the participants. All participating contestants received a $25 book store gift card, certificate of participation and an engraved bookmark. As first place winner, Brianna also received a trophy, medallion, $200, an additional $25 gift card, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and her school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. As second place winner, Kaley also received a trophy, medallion, $100, an additional $25 gift card, plus $200 for her school library. As third place winner, Kaitlin also received a trophy, medallion, and an additional $25 gift card.

Open to the public a Coffee House and Open Mic event was held between the semi-finals and finals round. This event was coordinated and facilitated by Rachel Rahrich from Bismarck High School, with assistance from the Bismarck Lit Club. Students from participating schools, visiting students, adults, and teachers alike took part in this event.

The North Dakota state competition judges included: Brenna Daugherty, Executive Director of the North Dakota Humanities Council; Nita K. Ritzke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; and the accuracy judge was Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. Debra Marquart, author/songwriter and Professor of English at Iowa State University was the event Emcee. Debra also performed some of her poems and songs. Live entertainment during the semi-finals was provided by Trio Apollo of Bismarck. Special guest Justine Chiappetta, Program Assistant for The Poetry Foundation, attended this year’s event.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org, or contact Linda Ehreth at (701) 328-7593 or via email at lehreth@nd.gov.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, has embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the best poetry before the largest possible audience. In the coming year, the Foundation will launch a major new poetry website and sponsor an unprecedented study to understand poetry’s place in American culture. Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume I of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts – both new and established – bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education.  Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

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2010 North Dakota State Poetry Competition

March 9, 2010 Agenda
North Dakota Heritage Center Auditorium
9:00 a.m.: Procession of Student Champions
9:05 a.m.: Welcome and Introductions, Emcee is Debra Marquart
9:15-10:15 a.m.: Semi-Finals Round One, 1st Poem
Musical Interludes provided by Trio Apollo
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Semi-Finals Round Two, 2nd Poem

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Lunch on Your Own

North Dakota Heritage Center Mezzanine
12:15-1:45 p.m.: Coffee House and Open Mic, free and open to the public

North Dakota Heritage Center Auditorium
2:00 p.m.: Announcement of Five Finalists
2:00-2:15 p.m.: Finals, 3rd Poem of Five Finalists
Performance by Debra Marquart
2:45 p.m.: Awards Ceremony
3:00 p.m.: Photographs and Goodbyes

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Poetry Out Loud logo

2009 Poetry Out Loud State Finals Winners Announced!

The North Dakota Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is Kaley Schwab of Mandan High School in Mandan, ND. The second place winner is Kristen Lundberg of Shanley High School in Fargo, ND. Third place was awarded to Emily Doll of St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck, ND. Laura Schlosser of Edgeley Public School, and Beatrice Hill of West Fargo High School, also placed in the top five. The competition was presented in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The state finals competition took place on Tuesday, March 17, at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. Kaley Schwab will advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on April 28, 2009, where a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be awarded.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic competition to high schools across the country.  Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to the school-wide competition, then to the state capital competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.

At the state competition, Kaley recited the poems Broken Promises, I Go Back to May 1937 and War is Kind; Kristen recited the poems Preludes, If-, and The Lake Isle of Innisfree; Emily recited the poems One Perfect Rose, Hymn to God, My God, in my Sickness, and Songs of the Powers; Laura recited Barter, Follow Thy Fair Sun and Famous; and Beatrice recited Domestic Violence, Sympathy and Next Day. All the contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 400 classic and contemporary poems. The NEA and Poetry Foundation created a standards-based teacher’s guide, a comprehensive website, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins, Alyssa Milano, N. Scott Momaday, and Rita Dove.

State Poet Laureate, Larry Woiwode, presented the awards to the participants. As first place winner, Kaley received a plaque, certificate, engraved bookmark, $200 plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and her school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. As second place winner, Kristen received a certificate, an engraved bookmark, $100, plus $200 for her school library. As third place winner, Emily received a certificate, an engraved bookmark and a $50 gift certificate. All participating contestants received a gift certificate, certificate of participation and an engraved bookmark.

During the lunch break a Coffee House and Open Mic were available to the public. Students from participating schools, visiting students, adults, and teachers alike took part in the activities.

The North Dakota state competition judges included: Ryan Berry, 2006 North Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Winner; Brenna Daugherty, Executive Director of the North Dakota Humanities Council; Nita K. Ritzke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; and the accuracy judge was Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts. Larry Woiwode was the event Emcee, and live entertainment through the event was provided by Trio Apollo of Bismarck, and the Mandan High School Swing Choir under the direction of Keri Hess.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org, or contact Linda Ehreth at (701) 328-7593 or via email at lehreth@nd.gov.

Poetry Out Loud State Finals

The North Dakota Council on the Arts announces 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 Tuesday, March 17, 2009, high school students from across the state will participate in the Poetry Out Loud State Finals at the North Dakota Heritage Center. The winner of this competition will advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC in April 27-29, 2009, where $50,000 dollars in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded.

Featured speakers and participants will be:

  • Emcee: Larry Woiwode, State Poet Laureate
  • Judges: Jan Webb, Executive Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts; Brenna Daugherty, Executive Director of ND Humanities Council; Nita Ritzke, Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Mary; Bill Thomas, Director of Radio, Prairie Public; and Ryan Berry, 2006 North Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Finalist
  • Live entertainment: Trio Apollo, a Bismarck-based woodwind trio, and the Mandan High School Swing Choir

The semi-finals start at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, and the finals round and awards ceremony take place at 2:00 p.m. at the North Dakota Heritage Center, Russell Reid Auditorium, in Bismarck, ND. Attendance is free and open to the public. Pizza and soda will be available to purchase during the lunch break, which is followed by a complimentary coffee house and open mic session.

For more information, contact Linda Ehreth at (701) 328-7593 or via email at lehreth@nd.gov.

 
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