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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2011

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov
Twitter: @NHCulture

N.H. Poetry Out Loud championship to take place at State House

The finals for the 2011 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud competition will take place at Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord on March 17 at 7 p.m.

Champions from four regional competitions will compete at the state finals, hoping for the chance to represent New Hampshire at the national championship in Washington, D.C., where $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded.

New Hampshire Speaker of the House of Representatives William O’Brien will open the event and welcome students. Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio-produced “Word of Mouth,” will be master of ceremonies.

Attendance at the state finals is free and open to the public.

This year, almost 10,000 New Hampshire high school students from 35 high schools participated in Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

In New Hampshire, high school champions advance to semi-final competitions; students who place in the top three positions at semi-finals compete at the state championship.

Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation's youth to learn about the beauty and power of language through memorization and performance of great poems. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Competitors memorize and recite poems from hundreds identified by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation to represent the breadth of great poetry. Competitors are judged on the quality of their presentation, accuracy in reciting the poem and its difficulty.

High school champions and their alternates in New Hampshire are offered merit scholarship awards of up to $15,000 from both Southern New Hampshire University and New England College. At the state finals, Colby-Sawyer College will offer two scholarship awards. Champions also receive donations of books from local bookstores.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is the NEA’s major partner for the state’s Poetry Out Loud program. Other New Hampshire partners for 2011 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud include the Badger Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the New Hampshire Writers Project, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, CavanKerry Press, The Frost Place, the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, Toadstool Book Shops, Bagel Works and the Savings Bank of Walpole.

For additional information about New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, contact Rodger Martin, New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Contest, at (603) 525-4715 or Catherine O’Brian, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at (603) 271-0795, Catherine.R.OBrian@dcr.nh.gov.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a publicly funded agency within the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding comes from state appropriations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at www.nh.gov/nharts.

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