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JUNE 2011
Michigan Humanities Council Newsletter
  Poetry Out Loud National Championship Results

Harron AtkinsThe Michigan Humanities Council would like to congratulate all the students across the nation who competed in Poetry Out Loud at the state and national levels. On April 28-29, 53 students represented their home states in Washington, D.C., in a competition to earn the title of National Poetry Out Loud Champion and a $20,000 scholarship.

Now in its sixth year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, which encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the county. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn more about literary heritage.

The 53 national competitors, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., came from a field of more than 365,000 students across the country and tested their poetry recitation skills in more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

Representing Michigan proudly was Detroit Cass Technical High School senior Harron Atkins. His strong performance earned him a slot in the Regional Top 8, but was unable to secure him a spot in the final round.

Nine students were chosen from the semifinals to compete for the top spot in Friday’s final round. In the end, it was 16-year-old Youssef Biaz from Alabama taking home top honors in the 2011 Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Biaz will receive a $20,000 award and his high school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

Victoria DiMartile of Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell, Ky., earned second place and a $10,000 award. DeVonna Daisy Smith of Reading High School in Reading, Pa., earned third place and a $5,000 award.

High school English language arts teachers can register now to participate in the 2011-12 program.


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Michigan Humanities Council
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