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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rodger Martin, Project Director New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Contest
Catherine O’Brian, Arts in Education Coordinator, NHSCA
(603) 271-0795, Catherine.R.O'Brian@dcr.nh.gov
High-resolution images available upon request
New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest Results
KEENE, NH – Exeter High School Senior Laura Messner was named the winner of the 2008 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest at Keene State College’s Redfern Art Center on Brickyard Pond on Saturday, March 22, 2008. Messner, who also won the 2007 State Championship, was one of more than 4,400 Granite State poetry reciters who competed at school championships in 15 participating schools around the state.
Concord High School sophomore Cote Laramie was the runner up and New Hampshire State Alternate Champion. In a close race, which highlighted the high quality of each student's performance, Molly McCahan, of Plymouth Regional High School, and Sarah Cotton of Salem High School shared the third place award.
The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation will provide an all expense paid trip for two to Washington, DC for Laura Messner to represent New Hampshire in the National Championship against the other 49 state champions on April 29, 2008. She will also receive a $5,000 scholarship from New England College and a $200 cash award from The Poetry Foundation. Messner’s High School library will receive $500 for poetry books.
Assistant State Majority Leader, Representative Daniel Eaton, provided the opening remarks and distributed the certificates and awards to all fifteen of the New Hampshire high school champions who competed in the finals. Each of those champions received either a $2,500 scholarship or a $5,000 scholarship offer from New England College.
In order to reach the New Hampshire state finals, the champions from each participating school had to learn and recite from memory three classic poems. They performed these in semi-final and final competitions on March 22nd. The four highest scores from each semi-final then competed again that day in the finals round before an audience of approximately 200. Television personality and poet, Ira Joe Fisher from CBS's "Early Morning Show" served as Master of Ceremonies.
“As Representative Eaton so ably demonstrated in his opening remarks,” described Rodger Martin, New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud Contest Director, “it was his recitation of a fourth grade level poem when he was in first grade that started him on his life's journey into politics and public speaking. As we listened to countless classic poems recited so well by these champions, we realized, in many ways, poetry is politics, and we need these voices in our political discourse more than ever today."
Along with the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, New Hampshire partners for Poetry Out Loud include the
NH Writers' Project, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Keene State College, the Arts Alliance of Northern NH, The Poetry Society of NH, the Frost Place in Franconia and Toadstool Bookstores of Peterborough and Milford.
For more information on the 2008 Poetry out Loud program in New Hampshire, contact Rodger Martin, Project Director at 603-525-4715, Rodgerwriter@verizon.net; or Catherine O'Brian, Arts in Education Coordinator, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, 603-271-0795, or Catherine.R.O'Brian@dcr.nh.gov.
More details about the national program plus many valuable resources are available at the national Poetry Out Loud website: www.poetryoutloud.org
April 29, 2008