Local students named Poetry Out Loud state finalists
Twelve high school students from across the state — including students from Carson, Douglas, Yerington and Virginia City high schools — are preparing to take center stage at the 11th annual Nevada Poetry Out Loud state finals, Saturday, March 19.
The State Finals are from noon to 3 p.m. at KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting’s studios, 1670 N. Virginia St., in Reno. The event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited, so attendees should plan to arrive early. The state champion will represent Nevada at the National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C., May 2-4.
“We congratulate the more than 2,750 students who engaged in this year’s Poetry Out Loud. They continue to select more complex and demanding poems to explore, memorize and ultimately ‘own.’ We anticipate a very competitive and inspiring state finals,” said Susan Boskoff, executive director of Nevada Arts Council.
Distinguished members of Nevada’s literary community are participating in the 2016 state finals. Reno’s Poet Laureate Gailmarie Pahmeier is serving as the master of ceremonies. Guest judges include Bruce Isaacson, Clark County poet laureate; Vogue Robinson, Las Vegas poet and educator; Larry Ollivier, Reno poet and educator; NV Energy government strategy executive Linda Bissett; and Vicky Meissner, Humboldt County School District educator.
District Finalists competing for the state title include: Shaylin Segura, junior, Carson High School; Christopher Alvarez, senior, Las Vegas Academy; Vanessa Blackwell, senior Douglas High School; Mikayla Bates, senior, Elko High School; Stephen Watts, senior, Eureka County High School; Allyssa Wadsworth, junior, Lincoln County High School; Gabrielle Hunt, sophomore, Yerington High School; Erik Jett, senior, Nevada Virtual Academy; Summer Taylor, freshman, Beatty High School; Loree Brimage, junior, Pershing County High School; John “Dexter” Yago, freshman, Virginia City High School; Natalie Rodriguez, senior, Wooster High School.
A dynamic educational program, Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level as students learn about, memorize and finally present poetry — out loud. Participants advance from school to district competitions and then to the Nevada State Finals, where the stakes are high. The Poetry Out Loud State Champion earns $1,000, wins $1,000 for his or her school to support literary programs, and travels with a chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals, held May 2-4. Those who place second and third at the Nevada State Finals each receive $500 and $500 for their schools to support literary programs.
Poetry Out Loud is a program of the Nevada Arts Council, presented in partnership with National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. For more information about the state finals, contact Maryjane Dorofachuk, at 702-486-3738, or email email@example.com, or go to http://www.facebook.com/NevadaPoetryOutLoud.
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