FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2013
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
“Let the stars appear”: N.H. Poetry Out Loud Championships at State House March 15
The statewide final competition for the 2013 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud program will take place at Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord on March 15 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
At the event, 11 finalists from the state’s four semi-final competitions will recite poems. By the end of the evening, one student will be selected to represent New Hampshire at the national championship in Washington, D.C., where a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be awarded to top-placing students.
Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio-produced “Word of Mouth,” will be master of ceremonies.
Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide program of the National Endowment of the Arts and is carried out in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. It encourages the nation’s youth to learn about the beauty and power of language through memorization and performance of great poems.
This year, more than 9,000 students from 36 New Hampshire high schools participated in Poetry Out Loud. High school champions advanced to regional semi-final competitions; students who placed in top positions at each semi-final will compete at the statewide finals. Criteria for judging includes physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.
New England College has offered $20,000 scholarships to each of the high school champions, should they choose to enroll at NEC. Southern New Hampshire University has offered renewable merit scholarships of $4,000 - $12,000 to high school champions and alternate champions, should they decide to attend SNHU.
Poetry Out Loud, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage, has gained popularity in New Hampshire over the past eight years. Participants memorize and recite poems from hundreds identified in a collection compiled by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to represent the breadth of great poetry.
The National Endowment of the Arts awards funds for the Poetry Out Loud program to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, which serves as the NEA’s major partner for the state competition.
New Hampshire is fortunate to have many local partners for the 2013 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud program, including the Putnam Foundation, the Daniel Thomas and Karen K. Moran Charitable Funds 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 Bookstores and Hannaford Supermarkets, as well as New England College, Southern New Hampshire University, the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Plymouth State University’s School of Graduate Studies. Additional support comes from Gibson’s Bookstore and Water Street Books.
The Granite State Ambassadors will serve as volunteers for the State Finals.
For additional information about New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, contact 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.