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December 1, 2011

Tennessee Arts Commission To Host Poetry Out Loud Competitions

High school students to compete in three different regions

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Arts Commission will host three regional Poetry Out Loud recitation competitions in East, Middle and West Tennessee.  The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Poetry Out Loud gives teachers the tools to introduce their students to a broad spectrum of poetry, so students may explore their literary  heritage.

“The Commission is honored again to offer Poetry Out Loud as an opportunity for the teachers and students of Tennessee,” says Rich Boyd, executive director of the Commission. “Poetry Out Loud has proven to be a great event that connects students to the literary arts, and the Commission believes strongly in supporting the efforts of teachers, students and parents through programs such as this. Our partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation solidifies our commitment to providing opportunities for students all over the state to participate in this event.”

The Poetry Out Loud competition is a three-tier structured program where students compete in their schools, and then winners advance to regionals, state and national levels. It is open to public, private and homeschooled high school students throughout the state.  The Tennessee Arts Commission will host the three regionals, which is new this year. The West Tennessee regional will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Overton High School in Memphis. The Renaissance Center in Dickson, will be the site for the Middle Tennessee regional on Friday, February 10, 2012.  East Tennessee regional is scheduled for Friday, February 17, 2012 at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville. The regional competitions are free and open to the public.

Winners from the regional competitions will advance to the statewide competition, also presented by the Tennessee Arts Commission, on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Tennessee State Capitol in the State Senate Chambers in Nashville. The winning student and teacher from the state competition are awarded $1,000 each and the runner-up student and teacher winner is awarded $500 each. The winner of the state will advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C. on May 13-15, 2012 to compete with students from all over the country.    Students select three poems from an anthology of more than 600 classic and contemporary poems. They are judged on variety of criteria including voice, tone, dramatic appropriateness and overall presentation.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please visit http://www.tn.gov/arts/POL_TN.htm or visit the national site at www.poetryoutloud.org. To register your school for the regional contest, contact Nan Zierden, special projects coordinator at nan.zierden@tn.gov or (615) 532-5934.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences that add value to the lives of every citizen, and enhances the quality of life in Tennessee communities.

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