Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poetry Out Loud Winners Announced!

From left: Erica McCreedy with Arts Council, Keaghan Kane,
Raven Dobbins, Elizabeth Salvador
This past Friday, February 17th, ten high school students representing Sulphur High School, Washington-Marion High School, DeRidder High School, Westlake High School, and home school groups competed for the top three honors at the SWLA Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition at Central School.

Elizabeth Salvador, a home school student, won third place in the competitions with her performances of “The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “The Donkey” by G.K. Chesterton. Raven Dobbins, a freshman at Washington-Marion High School, was awarded second place for her recitations of “Sadie and Maud” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe. Keaghan Kane, a senior level home schooler, was honored with first place for her moving renditions of “Preludes” by T.S. Eliot and “Crossing the Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Keaghan Kane
“I couldn’t be more proud of our students who won this year,” stated Erica McCreedy, project coordinator for the Arts Council. “This program engages the younger generations in the arts to not only create future artists but also future investors in the arts.” Salvador, Dobbins, and Kane will continue on to the State Poetry Out Loud Competition to hopefully follow in the footsteps of the 2011 Louisiana State Champion, David Douglas, who came also from Washington-Marion High School and represented Lake Charles at the National Competition. Over $50,000 in stipends and awards are given at Nationals.

Poetry Out Loud is coordinated in the Southwest Louisiana region by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, and it was initiated by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005. The program engages high school students by challenging them to memorize and recite poetry in a competitive setting. Performance poetry helps build confidence and public speaking skills while allowing students to experience the oral history of poetry.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud, contact the Arts Council office at (337) 439-2787 or visit