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August 18 , 2010

Tennessee Arts Commission Announces Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

High school students in Tennessee invited to compete in national poetry recitation contest

Nashville, TN — The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. During September 2010-February 10, 2011, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to a state competition on March 4-5, 2011 at Austin Peay State University. The state champion will advance to the National Finals, to take place on April 28-29, 2011, in Washington, DC. Clifton Smith from Haywood High School was selected as the 2010 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud champion and represented the state in the 2010 National Finals in Washington, DC, last April. More than 320,000 students from nearly 2,000 high schools around the country took part in Poetry Out Loud in 2009-2010.

 Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry out Loud encourages students to begin a love affair with words, ideas, and imagination that will inspire them throughout their academic journeys and their careers,” said Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud, contact Ann Brown at (615) 532-5939 or e-mail: ann.brown@tn.gov. Information is also available online: www.arts.state.tn.us/POL_TN.htm

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