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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2017

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

Julianne Gadoury, N.H. State Council on the Arts
603-271-0791
julianne.gadoury@dcr.nh.gov

2017 NH Poetry Out Loud finals set for March 10 at State House

In what has become a sure sign that spring is right around the corner, the N.H. State Council on the Arts has announced that New Hampshire’s annual Poetry Out Loud finals will take place at the State House in Concord on March 10, starting at 6 p.m. That evening, high school students from around the state will compete for the opportunity to represent New Hampshire at the national Poetry Out Loud championship.

Again this year, the finals will take place in Representatives Hall, where such luminaries as Franklin Pierce, the Marquis de Lafayette and Carol Channing have appeared.

Eight thousand students from 40 New Hampshire high schools and high school groups participated in the Poetry Out Loud program during the 2016-2017 school year.

This year’s eleven finalists, all winners of their high school competitions who excelled at the state’s four semi-finals, will recite poems that they selected from those compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. New Hampshire’s champion will travel to Washington, D.C. for the national championship, where a total of $50,000 in awards and scholarships will be awarded to the top finishers.

All 2017 New Hampshire school champions have been awarded merit scholarships from both New Hampshire Institute of Art and Southern New Hampshire University that may be applied toward coursework at those institutions. Additionally, if the state champion chooses to enroll at either New England College or Plymouth State University, those institutions will award scholarships to that individual.

Poetry Out Loud is a national program that encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, it is managed in New Hampshire by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud supporters include the Putnam Foundation – a donor-advised fund of the N.H. Charitable Foundation – and the New Hampshire Writers Project. Other partners include the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the Frost Place, Slam Free or Die and New Hampshire Public Radio.

New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud Championship is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth,” again will serve as master of ceremonies.

To learn more about 2017 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud or to find out how your school can be involved next year, go to nh.gov/nharts and click on the Poetry Out Loud button. For additional information, contact Julianne Gadoury, N.H. State Council on the Arts at 603-271-0791, julianne.gadoury@dcr.nh.gov.

Part of the N.H. Department of Cultural Resources, the Division of the Arts – also known as the N.H. State Council on the Arts – is a publicly funded agency. 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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