Five high schools compete to represent Tulare County at state poetry recital competition in March


VISALIA – No props or costumes, no production value just pure poetry. Students from five local high schools will perform a classic piece of poetry during the third annual Poetry Out Loud competition, today, Feb. 7 beginning at 6 p.m. in TCOE’s Redwood Conference Center, 6200 South Mooney Boulevard in Visalia.

The high schools will be competing for the chance to represent Tulare County at the state competition March 18-19 in Sacramento. Hosted by the Tulare County Office of Education and the Arts Consortium, Poetry Out Loud this year welcomes competitors from Dinuba High School, Mission Oak High School (Tulare), Monache High School (Porterville), Porterville High School, and Tulare Union High School.

Presented in partnership with the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is the nation’s largest youth poetry recitation competition. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has reached nearly 3 million students and 9,500 schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program encourages high school students to discover poetry through memorization, recitation, performance, and competition. Participants master public speaking skills, improve English-fluency and comprehension, and build self-confidence. They also learn to interpret and appreciate a variety of complex poems.

Structured like a spelling bee, Poetry Out Loud begins with classroom and school-wide competitions, with winners advancing to county, state, and national levels. In California, over 40,000 students in 40 counties compete annually.

Unlike other poetry competitions, there are no costumes, props, or sets allowed in Poetry Out Loud. Students must select their poems from an anthology of over 900 classic and contemporary poems, spanning a variety of cultures and genres. During the competition, participants are evaluated on six criteria: physical presence, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, dramatic appropriateness, accuracy, and overall performance. Participants recite their chosen poems, using only their voices to convey all of the emotion and energy of the printed word.

For further information, call Kate Stover at 559-741-0809 or [email protected].

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