Poetry Out Loud regional winners
Melissa Sheth, senior, and Elise Ditzler, junior will compete in the state Poetry Out Loud competition in Madison March 16. The girls finished in the top two of the regional competition against eight other students. Elise recited “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold and “September 1918” by Amy Lowell in order to earn her berth to the state competition. Melissa recited “Musical Moment” by Virginia Hamilton Adair and “Thoughtless Cruelty” by Charles Lamb. Students are required to memorize and recite their poems, demonstrating accuracy, dramatic appropriateness and understanding.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Each state winner receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington DC. 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 library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.