LINCOLN – Among the 14 schools being represented at this year’s state poetry finals include a northeast Nebraska community of Hartington Cedar Catholic.
According to a release from the Nebraska Arts Council, high school students from across the state will compete for the ‘Poetry Out Loud’ state championship this Sunday, March 8. The tourney will take place from the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln (390 North 12th Street) between 1:30 – 4 p.m.
Schools who will be represented Sunday will be Burwell, Cedar Catholic (Hartington), Ewing, Gordon-Rushville, McCook, Mercy (Omaha), North Platte Saint Patrick’s, Omaha Central, Parkview Christian (Lincoln), Rock County (Bassett), Seward, Skutt Catholic (Omaha), Thayer Central (Hebron) and Wahoo.
The event is free and open to the public as his year’s emcee will be Nebraska’s State Poet, Matt Mason. Also, guess musicians include Daniel Martinez and Oscar Rios who will give short performances during the event.
The winner will receive $200 and an all-expense paid trip with an adult chaperone to compete at the national championship in Washington D.C. April 27-29. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100, and $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the national competition, including a $20,000 scholarship for the national winner.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. The program is conducted in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Nebraskans for the Arts is also a partner with the state program and will provide trophies for the top three contestants.
Students will recite works selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. This year’s competition includes works by Ted Kooser, Debhorah A. Miranda and Maya Angelou.
Judges for this year’s event are Andy Park, artistic director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Marissa Payzant, English Language Arts Content Area Specialist at the Nebraska Department of Education, Patsy Koch John, Nebraska State School Board member and theatre teacher, Saddiq Dzukogi, Poet and UNL Doctoral candidate, and Jennifer Dreibelbis, Grants and Data Administrator at the Nebraska Arts Council.