Poetry Out Loud Competition Set for Museum Showdown

For Immediate Release
February 15, 2013
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext. 125
                                                                                 ALLENTOWN ART MUSEUM TO HOST POETRY OUT LOUD

Regional high school students to compete in national poetry recitation contest

Allentown, PA. — On Thursday, February 21, 2013 starting at 6 p.m., area high school students will compete in the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley.  Students will compete from: Emmaus High School, Emmaus; Northwestern Lehigh High School, New Tripoli; Notre Dame High School, Easton; Pleasant Valley High School, Brodheadsville; East Stroudsburg High School South, East Stroudsburg; Saucon Valley High School, Hellertown; Stroudsburg High School, Stroudsburg; and Whitehall High School, Whitehall.  The competition is free and open to the public.

Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.  Starting in the fall of 2012, schools in every region of Pennsylvania participated in classroom and school-wide contests.  The school winners advanced to regional competitions and those winners will advance to the state competition on March 11, 2013 in Harrisburg.  State champions will advance to the National Finals, to take place in April in Washington, D.C. 

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance.  The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth.  Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the classroom.  Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have each contributed funding towards the 2013 Poetry Out Loud program in support of materials, grants, prizes, and the National Finals in April.  Additionally, the NEA and the Poetry Foundation provided the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley with free, standards-based curriculum materials for use by participating schools.  Program materials are available for download on the Web site, www.poetryoutloud.org, which offers additional resources. 

Poetry Out Loud Prizes

Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the National Finals, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.  Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship.  The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.  One runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. 

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.