Poetry Out Loud
On Thursday, February 14, nine high school students representing Sulphur High School, DeRidder High School, Westlake High School, A.M. Barbe High School, and home school groups competed for the top three honors at the SWLA Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition at Central School.
Elizabeth Salvador, a home school student, won third place in the competitions with her performances of “Sea Fever” by John Masefield and “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky” by Lewis Carroll. Bree Lee, a junior at Sulphur High School, was awarded second place for her recitations of “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight” by Vachel Lindsay. Brooke Bose, a junior at A.M. Barbe High School, was honored with first place for her moving renditions of “The Lamb” by Linda Gregg and “The Maids Lament” by Walter Savage Landor.
“The students this year showed an incredible amount of poise and depth,” stated Paul Gonsoulin, project coordinator for the Arts Council. “Poetry Out Loud gives students a chance to really dig into poetry, to start asking questions that can spark a lifetime of artistic exploration.” Salvador, Lee, and Bose will continue on to the State Poetry Out Loud Competition to hopefully follow in the footsteps of the 2011 and 2012 Louisiana State Champions, who both came from Southwest Louisiana and represented Lake Charles at the National Competition. Over $50,000 in stipends and awards are given at Nationals.
Poetry Out Loud is coordinated in the Southwest Louisiana region by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, and was initiated by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005. The program engages high school students by challenging them to memorize and recite poetry in a competitive setting. Performance poetry helps build confidence and public speaking skills while allowing students to experience the oral history of poetry. Poetry Out Loud is funded by the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud or how to participate in next year’s round of competitions, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787.
Watch this great video of the 2012 SWLA Regional Competition shot by Karen Wink at the American Press!