For immediate release
February 20, 2013
Contact: Barbara Reed
Alabama State Council on the Arts
201 Monroe Street, Suite 110
Montgomery, AL 36130-1800
334-242-4076, ext. 223
Sabria White is Alabama’s Poetry Out Loud Champion:
National Competition to be held in Washington, DC
From a competitive field of over 6,000 students from across the state, Sabria White, a student from New Century Technology High School in Madison County was selected as the 2013 Alabama Poetry Out Loud State Champion on Monday, February 18. The Statewide Finals was held in partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Alabama Writers’ Forum.
Ms. White recited “Calling Him Back from Layoff” by Bob Hicok, “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold and “The Way It Sometimes Is” by Henry Taylor. Ms. White will advance to the National Finals to compete with 52 other champions from the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She will receive an all-expense paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Recitation Contest that will take place in Washington, D.C. on April 29-30, 2013.
Alabama has added its own unique element to the program, providing an opportunity for students to recite poetry that they themselves have written. This year’s winner was Bonny Chen, from Auburn High School. She recited her original poems “Legs” and ‘The Virtue of Triangles.”
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, to a regional competition, then the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals 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 English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Poetry Out Loud was piloted eight years ago when National Endowment for the Arts chairman, Dana Gioia, partnered with the Poetry Foundation to design a program that would bring the love of poetry as it was meant to be, as an oral art form, back into the lives and curriculum of high school students across the nation.
Sabria White, the Alabama state champion will receive $200, and her school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
For further information, please contact Diana F. Green, Arts in Education Program Manager, at the Alabama State Council on the Arts at 334/242-4076 Ext. 241 or by email at diana.green@....
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Photo upper left: Sabria White, Alabama’s 2013 Poetry Out Loud Champion. Photo by Julian Green.
Photo lower right: Bonny Chen, Best Original Poetry winner. Photo by Julian Green.