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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2016

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

Catherine O’Brian, N.H. State Council on the Arts
603-271-0795
catherine.r.obrian@dcr.nh.gov

NH’s 2016 Poetry Out Loud Champion named

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts announces that Danielle Corbett from Jesse Remington High School in Candia is the winner of New Hampshire’s 2016 Poetry Out Loud High School Championship, which took place at the State House’s Representatives Hall on March 21. Alexia Gorton from Goffstown High School was selected as alternate champion.

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

State champions from around the U.S. will gather to recite their selected poems at the national Poetry Out Loud competition on May 2 – 4, 2016, where a total of $50,000 in awards and scholarships will be presented.

Should Corbett be unable to attend, Gorton will represent New Hampshire at the event.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies on Poetry Out Loud for the past 11 years.

Close to 10,000 high school students participated in New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud program this year. High school champions advanced to regional semi-final competitions and students who placed in top positions at each semi-final were invited to compete at the 2016 state finals, where Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth” served as master of ceremonies. House Speaker Shawn Jasper welcomed students, their families and friends to the event with opening remarks.

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn the beauty and power of language through the memorization and the performance of great poems. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Catherine O’Brian, arts education coordinator at the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts stated, “Representatives Hall is the perfect venue for this competition as the recitation of poetry brings history to life, and in this way creates community across generations and cultures.”

Lead funders for the program are The National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Other state partners and sponsors include the Putnam Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; New Hampshire Public Radio; the New Hampshire Writers Project; the 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; Hobblebush Press; the Frost Place in Franconia and Opus Advisors.

New England College and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are offering scholarships to select students, should they choose to enroll at those institutions.

More information about New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud program, including a list of 2016 high school champions, state semi-final participants and state championship participants, is available by clicking on the “Poetry Out Loud” link at nh.gov/nharts. More information and resources about the program, including curriculum support and lesson plans related to poetry and literature are available at poetryoutloud.org.

The Division of 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 welfare and educational experience of our citizens.” Funding comes from state appropriations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more at nh.gov/nharts.

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