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Poetry Out Loud 2015 Winners

2015 Poetry Out Loud
January 13

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The Maryland State Arts Council and The St. Mary’s County Arts Council Announce the Winner, 2nd and 3rd Place Finishers of the Poetry Out Loud Competition

The Maryland State Arts Council and The St. Mary’s County Arts Council announces winner and other finalists of the County –wide Competition for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. They are: Sage Burch, Leonardtown High School– First Place; Brian Bizier, St. Mary’s Ryken High School - Second Place; and Sarah Havrilla, Kings’s Christian Academy - Third Place. Sage Burch will go on to compete at the Regional Competition which will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2015, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at St. Johns College, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, MD.  For directions go to: http://www.msac.org/node/62672 (See:  Regional Competition)

The competition, presented in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. On January 13, 2015, high school students from, Kings Christian Academy, Leonardtown High School and St. Mary’s Ryken High School participated in the Poetry Out Loud County competition at the Cole Cinema Auditorium in the Student Center at St Mary’s College. The County competition celebrated its 7th year and with 6 student competitors and 3 of the 5 high schools in the County participating.

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, then to county, then regional then state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. Since POL began in 2005, more than 2.5 million students from 7,500 high schools have participated. That’s 2.5 million students who have learned at least one poem by heart.

Poetry Out Loud Awards 
The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Maryland finals will receive $200, and the winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The Maryland champion of the Poetry Out Loud will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals in Washington, DC, on May 4, 2015. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will bestow a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.  

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 2015 Poetry Out Loud winners (From left to right) Brian Bizier, St. Mary's Ryken H.S., 2nd place; Sage Burch, Leonardtown H.S., 1st Place; Sarah Havrilla, King's Christian Academy, 3rd place and Michael Glaser, event MC.

2015 Poetry Out Loud winners (From left to right) Brian Bizier, St. Mary's Ryken H.S., 2nd place; Sage Burch, Leonardtown H.S., 1st Place; Sarah Havrilla, King's Christian Academy, 3rd place and Michael Glaser, event MC.

Poetry Out Loud helps students
master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

About the National Endowment for the Arts 
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov

About the Poetry Foundation 
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org 

Earlier Event: December 1
Polar Vortex Virtual Art Show
Later Event: January 13
Poetry Out Loud 2015