Poetry Out Loud Virginia State Finals

Poetry Out Loud Logo
SPARC, the Virginia Comission for the Arts and the Library of Virginia invite you to join us for the Virginia Poetry Out Loud State finals on Thursday, March 5th from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.  This event is open to the public.

SPARC operates the Virginia program for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and in collaboration with the Library of Virginia. The program is the brainchild of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation which provide the major support.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest, and encourages high school students to learn great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. From September 2008 to February 2009, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to a state competition on March 5, 2009. State champions advance to the National Finals, to take place on April 26-28, 2009 in Washington, DC.

WCVE personality May Lily-Lee will moderate the Virginia finals competition. Virginia’s Poet Laureate, Claudia Emerson will join Tracy Robertson from the Department of Education, and Richmond actor/Richmond Boys Choir Director Billy Dye as this year’s Poetry Out Loud judges.

The 2009 school winners that will compete in the state final are:

Marc Barnes (Grade 10) – Albemarle HS, Charlottesville; Kat Thompson (Grade 11) – Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, Petersburg; Sam Brackley (Grade 9) – Atlee HS, Mechanicsville; Nathan Landry (Grade 11) – Brook Road Academy, Richmond;  Taamu Wuya (Grade 12) – Flint Hill School;  Carole Hall (Grade 12) – Fredericksburg Academy, Fredericksburg;  Julia Douglas (Grade 11) – George Mason HS, Falls Church;  Michael Burnett (Grade 10) – George Wythe HS, Richmond;  Patrick Mahaney (Grade 12) – Giles HS, Pearisburg;  Ben Stoll (Grade 10) – Grace Christian School, Staunton;  Taylor Coombs (Grade 9) – Hanover HS, Mechanicsville;  Alex Tissiere (Grade 11) – Henrico HS, Henrico;  Rachel Vang (Grade 11) – Ideal Schools, Ashburn;  Quantazia McLaurin (Grade 11) – John Handley HS, Winchester;  Jasmine Scott (Grade 11) – John Marshall HS, Richmond;  Lauren Bittner (Grade 11) – Landstown HS, Virginia Beach;  James Russell (Grade 9) – Matoaca HS, Chesterfield;  Chelsea Knupp (Grade 11) – Middlesex HS, Saluda;  Micai Tawney (Grade 10) – Monticello HS, Charlottesville;  Seth Mayberry (Grade 10) – New Covenant Schools, Lynchburg;  Erin Swinson (Grade 9) – Open HS, Richmond;  Stephanie Davis (Grade 10);  Paul VI Catholic HS, Fairfax;  Brianne McMillan (Grade 10) – Powhatan HS, Powhatan;  Tia Robinson (Grade 11) – Rappahannock HS, Warsaw;  Sara Mason (Grade 11) – Rockbridge County HS, Lexington;  Kitty Schaffernoth (Grade 11) – St. Catherine’s School, Richmond;  Kyle Wittenauer (Grade 11) – St. Christopher’s School, Richmond;  Matthew Moore (Grade 12) – Stonewall Jackson HS, Manassas;  Russel Jin (Grade 11) – The Miller School, Charlottesville;  Keyanah Williams (Grade 12) – The Teen Parenting Program, Arlington;  Victoria Branch – Thomas Dale HS;  Kathleen Ryan (Grade 12);  Thomas Jefferson HS for Sci/Tech, McLean;  Katelyn Murray (Grade 12) – Tunstall HS, Dry Fork;  Jame’ Jackson (Grade 11) – Wakefield HS, Arlington;  Will Farley (Grade 12) – Washington-Lee HS, Arlington;  Zachary Root (Grade 12) – William Monroe HS, Stanardsville, & Lucas Newman (Grade 10) – Yorktown HS, Arlington.

In 2007, 18 schools participated and in 2008 that number rose to 32 schools. Tia Robinson from Rappahannock High School in Warsaw, VA was last year’s Virginia Poetry Out Loud champion and represented the state in the 2008 National Finals in Washington, DC last May, being one of twelve finalists in her division. She is returning this year to compete in the 2009 state final.

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.  Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class.  Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

How to get involved in Poetry Out Loud

Registration is closed for 2009, but high school teachers interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud in the future should know that the program requires less than two or three weeks. High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must contact SPARC to participate. SPARC determines school eligibility to take part in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources.  Contact Laine Satterfield (Lsatterfield@sparconline.org) or visit www.poetryoutloud.org for more information.

Poetry Out Loud Prizes

Students who participate in the official Poetry Out Loud program may be eligible to compete in the state and national finals in 2009. The winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-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 or her school library.

Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit  www.sparconline.org/programs.

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