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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 5, 2018

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
603-271-3136
shelly.angers@dncr.nh.gov
Twitter: @NHDNCR

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

‘The humble weed is as immortal once as the proudest flower’:
2018 NH Poetry Out Loud regional semi-finals begin Feb. 15

In the coming weeks, top students from New Hampshire’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud program will compete at semi-final competitions for the opportunity to represent their school at the state championship in Concord. The winner will move on to this year’s national competition in Washington, D.C.

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

Students, educators and parents consistently report that being identified as a talented presenter of great poetry is an experience that changes lives. There is no cost to compete and all materials are provided to enrolled schools.

In New Hampshire, all high schools and home school groups are eligible to participate. Approximately 9,000 students from 44 high schools take part in the program each year; a map of participating schools is available from the Poetry Out Loud section of the NHSCA’s website, nh.gov/nharts.

Again this year, more than 350 community members served as judges, scorers and volunteers, joining together to make the program a statewide success.

For the first time, all participating schools had the opportunity to invite a professional New Hampshire poet to visit their classrooms at no charge. Poets offer in-depth workshops for deeper engagement, learning, and connections to our state literary scene.

New Hampshire’s semi-final and state championship competitions are free and open to the public.

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

  • New England College in Henniker; Thursday, February 15, 6 p.m.
  • Rochester Opera House; Tuesday, February 20, 6 p.m.
  • Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester; Thursday, February 22, 6 p.m.
  • Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln; Monday, March 5, 6 p.m.

Snow dates and parking information for these events are available at nh.gov/nharts. The state championship will take place Friday, March 9 at the State House.

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.

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, Granite State Ambassadors, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the Frost Place, Slam Free or Die and New Hampshire Public Radio.

To learn more about 2018 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, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at 603-271-0791, julianne.gadoury@dncr.nh.gov.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and 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 for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at nh.gov/nharts.

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