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KY Schools Compete in 'Poetry Out Loud' Finals


By Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, KY Arts Council

FRANKFORT, KY - Sixteen schools will compete in the Kentucky State Poetry Out Loud Finals Competition on March 13 at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. The winner of the state championship will advance to the Poetry Out Loud national finals April 23-25 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation contest sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Each student, in the first and second round, is judged on the recitation of two poems. Five finalists will be judged on the recitation of a third poem. All poems are selected by the students and their teachers from a preapproved anthology of works.

The school champions, listed by name, school and county are:
• Suzanne M. Daniels, Allen County-Scottsville High School, Allen 
• Angelica Murphy, Augusta Independent School, Bracken 
• Brianna Bradford, Betsy Layne High School, Floyd 
• Blanca Aleman, Bowling Green High School, Warren 
 Trent Joseph Litteral, Boyd County High School, Boyd 
• Leann Goodman, Central Hardin High School, Hardin 
• Cameron Drew, Conner High School, Boone 
• Kiara Jones, Elizabethtown High School, Hardin 
• Emma Mitmesser, George Rogers Clark High School, Clark 
• MacKenzie Ray, Grant County High School, Grant 
• Emilia Marks, Hart County High School, Hart 
• James Ray Hall, Jenkins Middle High School, Letcher 
• Morgan Price, Marshall County High School, Marshall 
• Jillian Smith, McCracken County High School, McCracken 
• Cody Baynori, Newport High School, Campbell 
• Luke Wheatley, Saint Xavier High School, Jefferson
Judges for this year’s state competition are Frederick Smock, current Kentucky Poet Laureate and professor of English at Bellarmine University in Louisville; George Ella Lyon, Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2015-17 and author of the acclaimed poem “Where I’m From,” which is used as a model for poetry writing in classrooms around the world; and Crystal Wilkinson, multiple award-winning author, Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipient and the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for March and April 2018.

For more information about the Poetry Out Loud program in Kentucky, contact Jean St. John, arts council arts education director, at 502-892-3124 or jean.stjohn@ky.gov.

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