Thirty-three high school students from across the state will take center stage on Saturday, March 16, in Greensboro, to compete in Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and coordinated by the North Carolina Arts Council.
The program, which will be held at locations around downtown Greensboro, is free and open to the public.
“Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into high school classrooms,” said Arts in Education Director Banu Valladares, at the N.C. Arts Council. “Through the program, students can master public speaking skills, increase reading comprehension scores, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.”
Poetry Out Loud features readings by students from public and private schools, including schools as far away as Haywood and Jackson counties in the mountains to Dare and New Hanover on the coast. For a complete list of participating students, go to http://www.ncarts.org/elements/docs/POL_participants_2012.pdf
“The national program is a partnership between the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, while the statewide competition is a partnership between the N.C. Arts Council and the Greensboro Public Library,” said Valladares. ”We are grateful to all of our partners for making poetry accessible, and fun, to students across North Carolina.”
The program begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Central Branch of the Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St. Three concurrent semifinals at the library and the Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., start at 11:15 a.m. Each semifinal features 11 students. Winners of the semifinals will move on to the finals, which begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. All rounds of the competition are in the same area of downtown, and are free and open to the public.
Distinguished members of North Carolina’s literary community will serve as judges. A special part of the event is a poetry sampler by the judges, who will recite the works of their favorite poets and/or their own work. Semi-final judges are Rodrigo Dorfman, Krista Bremer, Anjail Rashida Ahmad, Preston Lane, Dasan Ahanu, and Malaika King Albrecht.
Judges for the finals are Michael Chitwood, Ansel Elkins, and last year’s state competition winner, Jessica Kariisa. Master of ceremonies is Michael Beadle. North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will be present for the entire day to provide inspiration to the students.
Schools participating in the program received supplemental curriculum materials from the NEA including online anthologies, a program guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, an audio CD featuring distinguished actors and writers, promotional and media guides and access to a comprehensive website.
Students first participate at the school level and then compete at the district level. Winners from district competitions advance to the state level competition. The winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national championship, which will be held April 29-30, 2013. The North Carolina champion will compete for a $20,000 college scholarship.
The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend to be used for purchasing poetry books. The runner-up at the state level receives $100, with his or her school receiving a $200 stipend for buying poetry books.
2012 state winner Jessica Kariisa of Raleigh Charter School represented North Carolina at the national finals in Washington, D.C., Monday, May 14, 2012.
For more information, contact Banu Valladares, North Carolina Arts Council Arts in Education Director, at (919) 807-6502 or email@example.com.