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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 1, 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

'Into a world of unlocked unlocking light-'
2017 NH Poetry Out Loud regional semi-finals begin Feb. 13

Long winter nights in New Hampshire will seem a bit brighter in February, when the state’s high school Poetry Out Loud champions will compete at four semi-final competitions for the opportunity to represent their school at the 2017 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Championship and move on to this year’s national competition.

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.

This year in New Hampshire, 8,000 students from 40 high schools and high school groups participated in Poetry Out Loud. High school winners advance to four regional, semi-final competitions; top finishers at the semi-finals then participate in the state championship. The state champion travels to Washington, D.C., for the national finals, where more than $50,000 in college scholarships and prizes are awarded to the top finishers.

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

The state finals will take place March 10 at the State House. New Hampshire’s semi-final and final competitions are free and open to the public. Seating may be limited in some facilities so early arrival is recommended.

Locations, dates and times for the semi-finals are:

  • Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester on Monday, February 13 at 6 p.m.
  • Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln on Thursday, February 16 at 6 p.m.
  • New England College in Henniker on Tuesday, February 21 at 6 p.m.
  • Rochester Opera House on Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m.

Snow dates and parking information for these events are available at nh.gov/nharts.

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.

To learn more about 2017 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, view the calendar of high school competition dates, or find out how your school can be involved, 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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NOTE: The quote in the headline is from the poem “Torque,” by UNH professor David Rivard (b. 1953).

 

 

 
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