For immediate release Wendi Hassan, 801.860.6396
3 January 2012 Communications Specialist, Utah Division of Arts & Museums
Geoffrey Fattah, 801.386.4755
Communications Director, Utah Dept. of Community and Culture
Utah Arts & Museums Announces 2012 Poetry Out Loud Competition
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Utah Arts & Museums invites high school teachers and students across the state to participate in Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation contest. Poetry Out Loud classroom contests take place throughout the winter, and the Utah State Finals will be held on March 13. For more information, visit artsandmuseums.utah.gov.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums invites high school teachers and students across the state to participate in Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation contest. Poetry Out Loud encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Since its inception in 2006, tens of thousands of students have enjoyed competing in Poetry Out Loud. The competition was designed so teachers can easily implement this “poetry bee” in the classroom. Poetry Out Loud awards more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels, and the national winner receives a $20,000 scholarship. Utah has had three finalists in the top ten. One finalist received a $5,000 scholarship award and was contacted by noted Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti to congratulate her on her recitation of his poem, I Am Waiting.
“Teachers love the program because it fits well into their literature curriculum, creates an entry point for students to appreciate poetry, strengthens community in the classroom, and reaches students whom they’ve never thought would take to poetry,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Utah Arts & Museums.
A partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and state arts agencies nationwide, Poetry Out Loud satisfies most of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students have the opportunity to discuss poetry and — if the teacher wishes to use the supplemental lesson plans — to write poetry of their own.
An overview of the program, classroom tools, and model recitations is available online at www.poetryoutloud.org. Teachers may contact Utah Arts & Museums to officially sign up their schools to become part of the competition. An entire school does not have to participate. If teachers have one or two interested students, they can contact Utah Arts & Museums for further details. For more information or to sign up, contact Jean Tokuda Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801.533.5760.
Poetry Out Loud classroom contests and district/regional contests take place throughout the winter, and the Utah State Finals will be held on March 13, 2012. The 2012 Poetry Out Loud National Finals will take place May 13-15, 2012, in Washington, D.C., at the Harman Center for the Arts.
Teachers may also use the Poetry Out Loud curricular materials — free online — if they want to use this great program but do not wish to join the national competition.
For more information, visit Utah Arts & Museums at artsandmuseums.utah.gov. For media inquiries, contact Wendi Hassan at email@example.com or 801.860.6396.
About the Utah Division of Arts & Museums
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums is a division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture with a goal to promote innovation in and the growth of Utah’s arts and culture community. The Division provides funding, education, and technical services to individuals and organizations statewide so that all Utahns, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status, can access, understand, and receive the benefits of arts and culture. Additional information on the programs and services can be found at www.artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by calling 801.236.7555.
About Poetry Out Loud
The National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and state arts agencies work together to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across the United States. After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, the second phase of Poetry Out Loud was launched nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. In 2009 nearly 325,000 students participated. More information about Poetry Out Loud can be found at www.poetryoutloud.org.