Charleston student wins state Poetry Out Loud competition

Charleston student wins state Poetry Out Loud competition

Congratulations to Nicole Sadek, the 2014 South Carolina Poetry Out Loud champion! Sadek, a sophomore at the Charleston County School of the Arts, advances to the national finals April 29-30 in Washington, D.C., where she competes for a $20,000 scholarship.

Sadek was one of nine regional finalists who competed at the Columbia Museum of Art during state finals on March 15. Each recited two poems they had memorized and perfected during school-wide and regional competitions that took place throughout the state from October to January, when more than 5,000 students began the competition. Three students were named state finalists and recited a third poem to determine the winner.

As the state champion, Sadek receives $200 and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national finals. The Charleston County School of the Arts library also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

Jamie Montagne, (above, left) a ninth grader at Spartanburg Day School, was named state runner-up. She receives $100, and her school library receives a $200 poetry book stipend. Joshua Mugabe, (above, right) a junior at York Preparatory Academy, was the third state finalist.

The South Carolina Arts Commission works with several partners to offer Poetry Out Loud: the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina ETV Radio’s “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel, Hub City Writers Project (Region 1); Bravo Blythewood and the University of South Carolina Sumter: Division of Arts and Letters (Region 2); the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (Region 3).

Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed.

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