Our Stories, Our Lives

Poetry Out Loud

 2018 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion:
Grace Garver from Petoskey High School

Grace Garver from Petoskey High School, was named the 2018 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Championafter a day-long recitation competition at the Lansing Crowne Plaza on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Ms. Garver took top honors among 39 student competitors, reciting “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus in her final round. First runner-up was Jaxon Anderson of Pentwater Public Schools, second runner-up was Avery Fessenden of Leland Public Schools, and third runner-up was India Pruette of Saline High School.

“The students’ recitations are absolutely phenomenal,” said Shelly Kasprzycki, Michigan Humanities Council President & CEO. “This takes poise, intelligence and a real fire in your belly to compete at the state level. We are excited to watch Grace represent Michigan at the National Competition in April. We are so proud of each one of the students that participated in Poetry Out Loud this year.”

As state champion ­­­­­Ms Garver receives a $1200 cash award, $1500 stipend for her school, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Michigan at the national competition April 23-25, 2018.

The first runner-up Mr. Anderson will receive $600, with $700 for his school. The second runner-up Ms. Fessenden will receive $200, with $200 for her school. The third runner-up Ms. Pruette will receive $100, with $100 for her school. Student and school prizes at the state level are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Liesel Litzenburger Meijer Fund. All four state finalists will receive plaques commemorating their achievement. The national champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.

Poetry Out Loud, a national high school recitation competition, encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, while also mastering public speaking skills, building self-confidence and learning about literary heritage. The program has engaged more than 78,000 students since the Michigan Humanities Council and Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs began hosting it in 2005.

The program is open to all high schools, including home-school groups. Registration for the next program will open this fall. If teachers or parents would like to learn more about this program, please click here or call 517-372-7770.

2017-18 Poetry Out Loud School Champions

Faith Anderson Allen Park High School Allen Park
Leah Riutta Calumet High School Calumet
Ana Smith Charlevoix High School Charlevoix
Nicole Baker Detroit School of Arts Detroit
Bianca Lockhart Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School Detroit
Terrance Phillips Jr. Old Redford Academy Preparatory High School Detroit
Zia Sloan Carman-Ainsworth High School Flint
Basil Gray The Leelanau School Glen Arbor
Benjamin Edwards Grand Rapids Innovation Central High School Grand Rapids
Caitlyn Lovelace Grand Rapids Montessori High School Grand Rapids
Ilya Holden Houghton Portage Township High School Houghton
Avery Evans Westwood High School Ishpeming
Eli Hamlet Grand River Preparatory Kentwood
Emily Whittaker Kensington Woods Schools Lakeland
Alivia Benedict Lakewood High School Lake Odessa
Derek Carter University High School Academy Lathrup Village
Avery Fessenden Leland Public School Leland
Max Papenfuss Manistee Catholic Central High School Manistee
Roxy Sprowl Marquette Senior High School Marquette
Jacob Barnett Melvindale High School Melvindale
Jenna Wallenbeck Calvary Baptist Academy Midland
Claire Newman H.H. Dow High School Midland
James Broderick Detroit Catholic Central High School Novi
Dora Ivkovich Okemos High School Okemos
Katilyn Griffin Owosso High School Owosso
Jaxon Anderson Pentwater Public Schools Pentwater
Grace Garver Petoskey High School Petosky
Matthew Hurwitz Portage Northern High School Portage
Alicia Cotter Riverview Community High School Riverview
Savannah Young Rochester High School Rochester Hills
Katelyn Zajac Stoney Creek High School Rochester Hills
Chloe Malinich Royal Oak High School Royal Oak
India Pruette Saline High School Saline
Grace Zucco Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center Traverse City
Lolita Roy Cousino High School Warren
Lucy Nguyen Waterford Mott High School Waterford Township
Jayla Woodley West Bloomfield High School West Bloomfield
Olivia Estep Williamston High School Williamston
Aiyanna Fivecoat Roosevelt High School Wyandotte
Tressa Garcia Yale High School Yale
Marney Brown Early College Alliance at EMU Ypsilanti

Awards – UPDATE!!

The state champion receives a $1200 cash award, $1500 stipend for his or her school, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Michigan at the national competition this April 23-25. The first runner-up will receive $600, with $700 for his or her school. The second runner-up will receive $200, with $200 for his or her school. The third runner-up will receive $100, with $100 for his or her school. Student and school prizes at the state level are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Liesel Litzenburger Meijer Fund.

Poetry Out Loud is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, and is hosted locally by the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Support is also provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Meijer.

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. By encouraging youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Participating high schools host their own competitions and select a student to represent their school at the state finals.  The state champion will advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. and compete for a $20,000 college scholarship. School champions will be invited to participate in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, a three-day event featuring the finest artistic talent in Michigan high schools. Nearly 80,000 students from more than 50 Michigan high schools have participated in Poetry Out Loud programs since 2005.

Lead Teacher & School Champion Resources

2017–18 Schedule (subject to revision):

  • September 2017 to January 2018: Schools incorporate Poetry Out Loud into curriculum, hold school competitions.
  • Dec. 1, 2017: Application deadline for interested schools.
  • January 26, 2018: Deadline to submit winning student.
  • March 1–2, 2018: State Finals, Crowne Plaza, Lansing.
  • April 23–25, 2018: National Finals, Washington, D.C.

Expectations:

  • Incorporate poetry recitation into curriculum (at teacher’s discretion) – Fall 2017
  • Hold school/classroom competition to determine school champion
  • Ensure school champion will attend regional, state and national championships (if selected)
  • Provide school champion’s information to MHC by deadline – January, 2018
  • Be prepared to list event dates (classroom discussions and school competition) with attendance numbers
  • Before reimbursements can be distributed following the statewide competition, school surveys must be sent to MHC
  • Full contest rules available in teacher’s guide; hard copies provided to participating teachers

MHC Commitment:

  • Provide a free teacher’s guide to each participating teacher
  • Reimbursement of travel and hotel accommodations for the student, parent and teacher to state finals
  • Each student competing at the State finals will receive a certificate signed by the governor
  • State winner will keep the Poetry Out Loud trophy at their home school for one year. He/she will also receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for a $20,000 scholarship at the national competition
  • Guidance and support from MHC program officer

Awards – UPDATE!!

The state champion receives a $1200 cash award, $1500 stipend for his or her school, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Michigan at the national competition this April 23-25. The first runner-up will receive $600, with $700 for his or her school. The second runner-up will receive $200, with $200 for his or her school. The third runner-up will receive $100, with $100 for his or her school. Student and school prizes at the state level are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Liesel Litzenburger Meijer Fund.

Poetry Out Loud is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, and is hosted locally by the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Support is also provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Meijer.

For more information on the national Poetry Out Loud program, visit www.poetryoutloud.org or www.nea.gov.

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