High school students will exercise their poetic license on Thursday, February 5, when Poetry Out Loud—a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation—comes to FIT. The college is hosting the competition for the New York City region for the second consecutive year. The winner and runner-up selected at this event will represent the region at the state finals in Syracuse on March 9. The national competition will take place in Washington, D.C., April 28 and 29.
The 15 to 20 students participating on February 5 will be judged not only on their ability to memorize and perform their interpretations of works they have chosen from a diverse list of over 2,000 poems, but also on their physical presence, their voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of complexity, and evidence of understanding their poem. An “Accuracy Judge” follows the performances with a copy of each poem.
The New York City region judges are Jeanne Marie Beaumont, author and teacher at Unterberg Poetry Center and University of Southern Maine; Reggie Harris, poet, Poets House; Amy Lemmon, poet and FIT English and Speech professor; and Amy Swauger, director, Teachers & Writers Collaborative. FIT’s a cappella singing group, the Skyliners, will perform.
Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.
Poetry Out Loud, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and Art Works, helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage through poetry. The program, in its tenth year, is sponsored by the NEA, the Poetry Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and The State University of New York.
For more information, click here.
Thursday, February 5, 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Pomerantz Center (enter at Seventh Avenue at 27 Street)
This event is open to the public.