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Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
Twitter: @NHCulture

Catherine O'Brian, N.H. State Council on the Arts

NH’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud Champion named

Dessaline Etienne from Goffstown High School is the winner of New Hampshire’s tenth Poetry Out Loud championship. Nora Doyle from Plymouth Regional High School was selected as alternate champion.

As state champion, Etienne receives $200 and travel expenses to compete at the national championship in Washington, D.C., accompanied by an adult chaperone. His high school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Doyle will receive $100, with $200 for her school library.

The national Poetry Out Loud competition takes place on April 28-29, 2015; high school students from around the U.S. will gather to recite their selected poems. A total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends are awarded to participants placing at various levels of the national competition.

Should Etienne be unable to attend, Doyle will represent New Hampshire at the event.

2015 is the program’s 10th anniversary both nationally and in New Hampshire. This year, approximately 10,000 students participated in programs through 37 high schools groups. Local champions went on to compete at one of four state semi-final competitions. Ten students competed at the state championship.

Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio-produced “Word of Mouth” was the master of ceremonies.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition for high school students and is initiated and funded through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages high school students to learn the beauty and power of language through memorization and the performance of great poems. By participating, students have the opportunity to strengthen their public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

The N.H. State Council on the Arts coordinates and implements the N.H. Poetry Out Loud the program with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. State partners include the Putnam Foundation, Lincoln Financial Group, New Hampshire Public Radio, the New Hampshire Writers Project, Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Granite State Ambassadors, the New Hampshire Institute of Art, New England College, Southern New Hampshire University, Jean’s Playhouse, CavanKerry Press, the Frost Place in Franconia and Opus Advisors.

More information about New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud program, including a list of high school champions, state semi-final participants and state championship participants, is available by clicking on the “Poetry Out Loud” link at More information about the national program is available at

To learn how your high school or high school student can participate in New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud program, visit the N.H. State Council on the Arts website:, or contact Catherine O'Brian, arts education grants and programs coordinator, 603-271-0795, Catherine.R.O'

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




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