From a competitive field of some 365,000 students nationwide, Kristen Dupard, a senior at Ridgeland High School in Ridgeland, Mississippi, won the title of 2012 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. With her achievement, Dupard also received a $20,000 award and her high school received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into high school classrooms. Through the program, students can master public speaking skills, increase reading comprehension scores, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. In six years, Poetry Out Loud has inspired thousands of high school students to discover and develop deep, personal relationships with great classic and contemporary poetry.
The N.C. Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Greensboro Public Library, invites N.C. students to participate in the program to gain a deeper appreciation of great poetry through memorization and recitation.
The program starts in the classroom, broadens to the state level and culminates at the national finals in Washington, D.C.
While teachers, students and poetry lovers everywhere can use the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud website www.poetryoutloud.org and free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state's arts agency. If you are a teacher interested in participating in the official N.C. program, check back soon for registration information.
Further information, including poems eligible for the competition, tips for teachers and students, press releases for coordinators, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.poetryoutloud.org.
Poetry Out Loud inquiries: Contact Banu Valladares, Arts in Education Director, at (919) 807-6502 or by email.
Media inquiries: Contact Rebecca Moore, Senior Program Director for Marketing, at (919) 807-6530 or by email.