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Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 Poetry Out Loud finals @ Utah Arts & Museums (SLC: March 13)

**The body of this e-mail is also in the attachment**

For immediate release                Alyssa Hickman Grove, 801.533.5760
7 March 2012                            Constituent Relations & Media, Utah Arts & Museums

Geoffrey Fattah, 801.386.4755
Communications Director, Utah Dept. of Community and Culture

2012 Poetry Out Loud finals
Students compete to represent Utah at national poetry competition

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums announces the state finals for Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation competition. The state finals will be held on March 13, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. The champion will go to Washington, D.C., in May to represent Utah in the national finals and compete to win a $20,000 scholarship.

More than 1,800 students from nearly 20 high schools around the state participated in the Poetry Out Loud curriculum and participated in preliminary competitions. At the Black Box Theatre, finalists will recite works they selected from an anthology of nearly 600 classic and contemporary poems.

Currently, students from these schools will compete in the state finals:

Bountiful High School
Box Elder High School (Brigham City)
East High School (Salt Lake City)
Gunnison Valley High School
Herriman High School
Judge Memorial Catholic High School (Salt Lake City)
Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy (Lindon)
Layton High School
Logan High School
Manti High School
Merit College Preparatory Academy (Springville)
Monticello High School
Navigator Pointe Academy (West Jordan)
North Sanpete High School (Mount Pleasant)
Provo High School
Rowland Hall–St. Mark's High School (Salt Lake City)
Syracuse High School

“These talented teens who engage in Poetry Out Loud relate to the poetry on a personal level and hone their public-speaking skills,” said Margaret Hunt, Utah Arts & Museums Director. “The final state competition is a very exciting evening, and for the past several years the state champion has also honored us with a recitation at the Mountain West Arts Conference/Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards."

Utah has had three finalists in the national 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.

Poetry Out Loud, presented in partnership with 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. Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers across the nation by capitalizing on trends in poetry recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, the spoken word, and theatre in the English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The Poetry Out Loud Utah state finals event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit Utah Arts & Museums at artsandmuseums.utah.gov.

About Utah Arts & Museums
Utah 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.

Alyssa Hickman Grove
Constituent Relations & Media
Utah Arts & Museums
617 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Phone: 801.533.5760

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