Poetry Out Loud

National Recitation Contest Finals

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Join nine New Mexico high school students at the St. Francis Auditorium of the New Mexico Museum of Art on Sunday March 9, 2014 at 1 p.m., as they compete to become New Mexico’s Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest Finalist.  Former Santa Fe Poet Laureate Joan Logghe is scheduled to perform.  Admission for the event is free to the public.

Poetry Out Loud helps our young people build self-confidence and master public speaking,” said Governor Susana Martinez.  “These are important skills that will serve our students well in whatever career path they take in the future."

The Governor noted that Poetry Out Loud is part of an overall campaign to increase literacy in New Mexico, which is a priority for her and First Gentleman Chuck Franco.

The New Mexico competition was held statewide and nine schools are sending students to the state final. Schools winners participating in the state final include Zoe Webb-Sagarin, Bosque School, Albuquerque; Akunnaya Ezenyilimba, Las Cueva High School, Albuquerque; Oceana Vasquez, Public Academy for Performing Arts, Albuquerque; Alex Wiesel, Southwest Secondary Learning Center, Albuquerque; Cheyenne Bilbrey, Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield; Lester Voorhies, Deming High School, Deming; Jordan Martin, Oñate High School, Las Cruces; Rachel Patty, Raton High School, Raton; and SethWilson Gray, V. Sue Cleveland High School. This year’s judges include New Mexico Arts Commissioner Tom Maguire, poets Debbi Brody and Barbara Rockman, and actor Jonathon Dixon.

"To memorize and recite a great poem of the past or present," said Robert Polito, President of the Poetry Foundation, "is to 'own' it in the most personal way ‐‐ in your body, your breath, and your spirit. Recitation is obviously an interpretive act, but also creative, and possibly even self‐transformative."

The state winner will receive $200, plus $500 for their school library for the purchase of poetry books, and all expense-paid trip (with adult chaperone) to Washington, DC, to compete at the National Finals.  The National Champion receives $20,000 in prizes.

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and state arts agencies.  The New Mexico portion of the national poetry recitation contest is sponsored by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance.  The inspiration for this program is to promote poetry in both the classroom and the community.  Performers are judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of complexity, evidence of understanding, and accuracy.

More on Poetry Out Loud: http://www.poetryoutloud.org/

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