Poetry Out Loud collaboration

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Lanier Library and Tryon Fine Arts Center are teaming up to sponsor a group of English students in Heather Wright’s class at the Polk County Early College as they participate in Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation contest created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Students participating in Poetry Out Loud must memorize and recite a poem before an audience. All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology of over 900 poems (found at www.poetryoutloud.org) which is updated every summer.  With the help of poetry and performance coaches, Marianne Carruth and Michelle Fleming, students have been busy preparing for their classroom recitations.  Winners of the school contest will then present their poems at TFAC on December 7, where volunteers from the community will judge each based on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance.  The school winner will proceed to the state-wide competition in Greensboro in March with a total of three poems prepared.  Of these, one must be 25 lines or fewer, and one must be written before the 20th century.  The state winner will continue to the National Finals in Washington, DC where a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is distributed.

In preparation for the state competition, students will be invited to present their poems before an audience at the next Literary Open Stage event at the Lanier Library in January and all students will be invited to the annual poetry-focused Literary Open Stage the first Thursday in April, where everyone has traditionally read their favorite poem.

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Since the program began in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers in 10,000 schools nationwide.  The Lanier Library is proud to join the Fine Arts Center in support of this event in our county.

– submitted by Amber Keeran