Poetry Out Loud 2009 Competition

Indiana High Schools Encouraged to Prepare for Indiana’s 2009 Poetry Out Loud Competition

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced that it will once again partner with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation to support Poetry Out Loud.

Competitions are first held at the high school level to determine up to two students that will represent the school at the regional finals. Regional and state competitions will be held in late February to determine the state champion. The state champion will then represent Indiana at the 2008/2009 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. on April 26-28, 2009.

The student crowned state champion will receive a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books. The state runner up will receive a $100 cash prize and their school will receive a $200 stipend for the school library.

A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the national champion.

Sequoia J. Jelks, Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis, was the 2008 Indiana Poetry Out Loud state champion.

There are no registration costs for high schools interested in participating in the Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition, and all resource materials will be provided. For more information on how to register for Poetry Out Loud, contact Susan Britsch, at 317-232-1281 or e-mail sbritsch@iac.IN.gov.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition began in 2006. The program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.

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