|Pam Breaux, Assistant Secretary to|
the Office of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism,
with State Champion Keaghan Kane
On Saturday, March 24th, eleven finalists from across Louisiana high schools competed at the Louisiana State Museum for top honors as Louisiana State Champion for Poetry Out Loud’s 2012 season. Over a thousand students competed in Louisiana, and three students from Southwest Louisiana were among these finalists: Keaghan Kane, home schooled, 12th grade; Elizabeth Salvador, home schooled, 10th grade; and Raven Dobbins of Washington-Marion High School, 9th grade.
After a highly competitive contest in which each student recited three poems on stage in front of a packed room and four qualified judges including published poets and LSU professors, Kane was awarded first place as State Champion and will go on to represent Southwest Louisiana at the National Poetry Out Loud Competition in Washington, D.C. on May 13th-14th.
Kane will be the second Lake Charles student in a row that competes at the national competition with last year’s state championship awarded to David Douglas of Washington-Marion High School. Kane won the state judges over with her recitations of “Preludes” by T.S. Eliot, “Crossing the Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and “Monet Refuses the Operation” by Lisel Mueller. Kane, who has competed in Poetry Out Loud for the past four years, is a home schooled senior graduating in May, and she will attend Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, to pursue a degree in literature.
“This was Keaghan’s last year to be eligible to compete, and she has grown stronger each year in her abilities to understand the architecture of each poem and to translate that understanding effortlessly in her performances,” stated Erica McCreedy, Special Projects Coordinator for the Arts Council. “She will be a great voice for Louisiana at the national competition.”
Poetry Out Loud began in 2005 from the joint efforts of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Louisiana Division of the Arts has been played a vital role in keeping this program strong, and the Arts Council facilitates this program in Southwest Louisiana each year. For more information about Poetry Out Loud or how to participate in next year’s round of competitions, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787.