Nine students advance to Poetry Out Loud state finals

Nine students advance to Poetry Out Loud state finals

The South Carolina Arts Commission congratulates the finalists in the state’s 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. All nine students advance to the March 15 state finals to compete for South Carolina’s spot in the POL national finals and a shot at a $20,000 scholarship.

Region 1: Upstate

  • Josh Mugabe, 11th grade, York Preparatory Academy, York County
  • Hawkins Shephard, 10th grade, Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg County
  • Jamie Montagne, 9th grade, Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg County

Region 2: Midlands

  • Jazmin Goodwin, 12th grade, Ridge View High School, Richland County
  • Eden Weidman, 11th grade, Fox Creek High School, Edgefield County
  • Madalyn Hair, 10th grade, Irmo High School, Lexington County

Region 3: Lowcountry

  • Nicole Sadek, 10th grade, Charleston County School of the Arts, Charleston County
  • Sarah Moody, 12th grade, Ashley Hall, Charleston County
  • Gabbey Byrd, 11th grade, First Baptist Church High School, Charleston County

Students advanced from school-wide competitions to one of three regional competitions held in Spartanburg, Blythewood and Charleston Jan. 25-26. The state finals will be held March 15 at the Columbia Museum of Art, and the state champion will compete in the national finals April 29-30 in Washington, D.C.

The state champion receives $200, a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books for their school library, and an all-expense paid trip to the national finals. The runner-up receives $100 and a $200 poetry book stipend for their library.

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. The winner received a $20,000 scholarship.

Statewide partners include the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV Radio’s “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel. Regional partners include Hub City Writers Project in Region 1, Bravo Blythewood and the University of South Carolina in Region 2, and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts in Region 3.

For more, contact Frances Kablick Keel at