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Arts Commission invites Indiana high schools to participate in 2014 Poetry Out Loud competition

(Indianapolis, Indiana) – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today it will coordinate the ninth annual Poetry Out Loud Indiana State Finals competition, and encourages Indiana high schools to participate in the annual poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.

Initial competitions are held at the high school level to determine one student to represent the school in state competition. There are no registration costs for high schools interested in participating in the Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition, and all resource materials will be provided. Preliminary school competitions should be completed by February 1, 2014.

Registration is currently open for the 2014 competition. Schools must register in advance to take part in the Poetry Out Loud competition. For more information on how to register for Poetry Out Loud, contact Kristina Davis, at kdavis-smith@iac.in.gov or call 317-232-1279.

Thanks to a contribution from the Rooker Foundation, Indiana State Poet Laureate Karen Kovacik will once again be available to visit schools registering for the first time providing expert guidance to help students develop memorization, interpretation, and recitation skills. Scheduling of the Poet Laureate in-school sessions will be of a first-come, first-served basis, and will based on the Poet Laureate’s availability.

State competition will be held in late February to determine the Indiana state champion. The winner of the state championship will represent Indiana at the 2013/2014 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. in late April. Emma Libersky, Plymouth High School, Plymouth, was the 2012/2013 Indiana State Champion.

A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the national champion.

The state champion receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. The state champion’s school receives a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition began in 2006. The program is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.

The Indiana Arts Commission is dedicated to the vision of the arts everywhere, everyday, for everyone in Indiana.