15 will compete in state Poetry Out Loud championship

Kentucky's 15 high school Poetry Out Loud champions will compete March 13 for the title of state champion and the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth at the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C.

The state finals, which are open to the public, will be Thursday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT at the Capital Plaza Hotel, 405 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, Ky. The program is coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council.

"The Poetry Out Loud state competition is an exciting day for the school champions and their peers who travel to Frankfort," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "It really is inspiring to see how these students come alive when they are reciting poetry and how their classmates respond to their performances. Poetry Out Loud is an outstanding example of arts education at work."

Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to schoolwide competition, then to the state competition and ultimately to the national finals, April 29-30, in Washington, D.C.

School winners who will compete to represent Kentucky in the national finals are:
Titus Carter, Allen County Scottsville High School
Gabrielle Thompson, Boyd County High School
Trey Griffin, Butler Traditional High School, Jefferson County
Haley Sullivan, East Ridge High School, Pike County
Katelyn Taylor, Franklin County High School
Haley Reed, George Rogers Clark High School, Clark County
Haley Bryan, Grant County High School
Celeste Shearer, Hart County High School
Dorthea Acker-Hogg, Hazard High School, Perry County
Cayce Brockwell, Hickman County High School
Jodi Hooper, McCracken County High School
Cassie Gearles, Phelps Jr. and Sr. High School, Pike County
Taryn Syck, Pike County Central High School
Sydney Doose, South Warren High School, Warren County
Dove DeNigris, Western Hills High School, Franklin County

The winner of the state finals receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up receives $100, with $200 going to his or her school library.

Since starting in 2006, Poetry Out Loud has grown to more than 365,000 students competing in 2011-12. For a general overview of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest visit

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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