Students speak with ‘Poetry Out Loud’ | SierraSun.com

Students speak with ‘Poetry Out Loud’

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – Placer County high school students are among hundreds across the nation working hard to interpret, memorize and recite classical poetry.

The regional competition for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest will be held at the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center at the State Theatre in Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. The top student qualifiers from Placer County high schools including Roseville High School, Colfax High School, Victory High School, Del Oro High School, Horizon Independent Study and Truckee High School will vie for the opportunity to represent Placer County in the state-wide competition. Three students from Truckee High will compete: Helen Banson, Karlie Mohun and Calvin Brady.

The event starts with a 6 p.m. reception with the contest beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. Musical interludes by virtuoso Giorgi Khokhobasvili will be included.

For several weeks students have rehearsed to perfect the oral performance of their chosen classic poems, with the help of their drama and English instructors as well as poets-in-residence provided through California’s statewide service organization, California Poets in the Schools.

This is the sixth year that PlacerArts, Placer County’s state-local partner of the California Arts Council, has facilitated Poetry Out Loud regionally. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry and hip-hop movements among youth. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

“Developed by former National Endowment Chair and California poet Dana Goia, this national program is doing much to restore classic poetry and recitation to its rightful place in public education,” said Angela Tahti, executive director of PlacerArts. “It’s marvelous to see student confidence and love of the written word build and bloom through participation.”

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The Placer County champion will receive $200 and the first runner-up $100. The county champion will advance to the state competition in Sacramento on March 25-26. The California State winner receives $200 and an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete for the national title May 13-15, 2012.

The national winner will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship, with additional prize money going to all top 12 finishers. Winner’s schools will also receive prize money to go toward the purchase of poetry materials for their schools. Total prize money for state and national awards is more than $100,000.

Community members are invited to attend the regional competition Saturday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m. at the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center at the State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way in Auburn.

For more information contact Anita Eisenman, Poetry Out Loud and Arts Education Specialist, PlacerArts by telephone 530-885-5670 or e-mail anita@placerarts.org.

PlacerArts is the Arts Council of Placer County. Founded in 1983, PlacerArts is a non-profit catalyst for the arts and humanities in Placer County.

– Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com