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Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
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‘Those blessed structures, plot and rhyme’:
NH Poetry Out Loud Championships at State House March 13

The statewide final competition for the 2015 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud program will take place at Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. The winner will represent New Hampshire at the national championship in Washington, D.C., where a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be presented.

At New Hampshire’s finals, the ten top finishers from the state’s four semi-final competitions will recite poems that they have selected from those compiled by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth,” will be master of ceremonies. The event is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

A program of the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is celebrating its 10th anniversary both nationally and in New Hampshire, where this year approximately 10,000 students from 37 New Hampshire high schools participated. High school champions advanced to regional semi-final competitions and students who placed in top positions at each semi-final will compete at the state finals.

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.

The New Hampshire Institute of Art is offering a scholarship for each year of a four-year Bachelors program to each high school champion and alternate, should they be accepted there and choose to attend NHIA. New England College and Plymouth State University are each offering scholarships to the state champion, should that student choose to attend either of those institutions.

For additional information about New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, contact Catherine O’Brian, N.H. State Council on the Arts at 603-271-0795,

The N.H. State Council on the Arts is a publicly funded agency within the N.H. 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


The quotation in the headline, “Those blessed structures, plot and rhyme,” is from New Hampshire poet Robert Lowell’s “Epilogue” (1977) and is part of the Poetry Out Loud catalog.



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