Official New Hampshire website
NHSCA logo 50th anniversary tagline


 nh arts home
 program services
 arts & artists
nh folklife
trans div
 news & calendar
   media room
   nh arts calendars
trans div
 about us
 site map



NH Art News & Calendar Information  

Arts in Education Program

NH Poetry Out Loud Competition
Academic Year 2008 - 2009

Photo Galleries:

N.H. Poetry Out Loud Announces Champion: Cote Laramie of Concord

Cote LaramieKEENE --  Judges crowned Cote Laramie, a junior at Concord High School, as the 2009 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud state champion on Saturday, March 21, at Keene State College. Laramie came out on top in a competition between the top 10 high school finalists from New Hampshire’s East and West regionals at Keene State College. 

Laramie, who was the second-place winner in 2008, represented the state of New Hampshire in Washington D.C., on April 27 and 28, competing for the national title and tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships against state champions from the other 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He won with his recitation of “Two Guitars” by Victor Hernandez Cruz. 

Judges, including out-going N.H. Poet Laureate Pat Fargnoli, chose Plymouth Regional High School senior Molly McCahan as alternate champion should Laramie be unable to represent the state. McCahan participated this year for the third time.

Before a crowd of over 150, the 10 finalists squared off by reciting two poems each, chosen from an anthology posted by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. All were welcomed by House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Daniel Eaton, who spoke about how a poetry success at his primary school sparked him toward public speaking and then a career that has led him to the State House. 

Steven Young, executive director of the national Poetry Foundation in Chicago, one of the major co-sponsors of the event,along with the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, flew in to observe the competition. “Over 300,000 high school students across the United States participated in Poetry Out Loud this year," he said.

Jillian Peters of Hopkinton High School and Campbell Lozuaway-McComsey of Portsmouth High School completed the final four, while Nellie Teeling of Cocheco Arts and Technology Academy (Dover), Marissa Smith of Goffstown High School, Amanda Kruczynski from Pembroke Academy, Victoria Duquette of Pittsfield Middle High School, Lianna Bessette of Salem High School, and Victoria Hastings of Timberlane High School were the other eight finalists.  Each of these students, in regional competitions, had finished among the top five from among the 24 other New Hampshire high schools and 5,000 students who participated in this year’s program.  

All 48 high school champions and alternates have been offered scholarships of up to $15,000 from New England College, Henniker, and up to $11,000 from Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester.  Laramie also won a check for $200, plus $500 for Concord High School Library to purchase poetry books.  McCahan won a check for $100 plus $200 for Portsmouth High School library to purchase poetry books.  Laramie and one chaperone received an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the nationals, where Garrison Keillor was one of the judges and Scott Simon of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” was master of ceremonies. 
Saturday’s competition in Keene was emceed by two-time Emmy-awarding winner and poet Ira Joe Fisher, who called the afternoon “a truly memorable day, exquisitely organized and executed.”
Calibration poems were delivered by Sven Wiberg of Oyster River High School and Sarah Walton of John Stark Regional.

To learn more about the national Poetry Out Loud Program and peruse the anthology of poems and other resources, go to  For more information on the Poetry Out Loud program in New Hampshire, contact Catherine O'Brian, 271-0795 or or visit

N.H Poetry Out Loud Finalists

School Student
Cocheco Arts & Technology Academy
Nellie Teeling
Concord High School
Cote Laramie
Goffstown High School
Marissa Smith
Hopkinton High School
Jillian Peters
Pembroke Academy
Amanda Kruzynski
Pittsfield Middle/High School
Victoria Duquette
Plymouth Regional High School
Molly McCahan
Portsmouth High School
Campbell Lozuaway-McComsey
Salem High School
Lianna Bessette
Timberlane Regional High School 
Victoria Hastings

New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (NHSCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, in cooperation with the Monadnock Writers Group, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Writers Project, the Poetry Society of NH, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, and the Frost Place in Franconia.

Info about the National Poetry Out Loud project:


Last updated: August 5, 2011

nh | privacy policy | accessibility policy