Monthly Archives: February 2019


Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Winners





In the temper and the tantrum, in the well-kept arboretum

I am waiting, like an animal,

For poetry.

From “That Everything’s Inevitable” by Katy Lederer


These words, recited by Aasne Daniels (mistress of ceremonies), were heard by about 100 people gathered for the Central Illinois POETRY OUT LOUD Contest held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.

Cassandra Bradbury and Cole White of Pawnee High School were the top two finishers in the competition.  They will advance to the Illinois State Finals in Springfield at the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Friday, March 8, 2019, at 10:00 A.M.

Springfield Southeast High School’s Sara Kennedy was named as an alternate.

The Illinois State Contest will feature recitations by two students from each of eight Poetry Out Loud regions in the state:  Alton, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago-City, Chicago-Suburbs, Rockford, Rock Island, and Springfield.  The Illinois State Champion will advance to the national contest in Washington, D.C., in late April.

Over 1,395 students and 35 teachers began the 2019 Poetry Out Loud season in central Illinois last fall.  Today, 18 students competed.

Other contestants in the Central Illinois Regional Contest were

Khadija Dear and Ella Smith, Eisenhower High School (Decatur)

Genna Nielsen and Danielle Rogers, Eureka High School (Eureka)

Bethany Bergschneider and Madden Delaney, Franklin High School (Franklin)

Grace Henderson, Lutheran High School (Springfield)

Emma Halteman and Jamie Hefley, Rochester High School (Rochester)

Claire Carter and Ruthie Kinion, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield)

Ian Unsbee, Southeast High School (Springfield)

Joy Brown, Springfield High School (Springfield)

Claire Bushur and Tory Tensen, Teutopolis High School (Teutopolis)

Contest staff for the 2019 Central Illinois Regional Contest included

Recitation judges:  Anne Bishoff, Reggie Guyton, Nikki Overcash

Accuracy judge:  Thèa Chesley

Prompter:  Jerry Johnson

Poetry Out Loud in Illinois is a collaborative project of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and seven arts agencies, each of which hosts a regional contest.  The Poetry Out Loud:  National Recitation Contest is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through analysis, memorization, performance, and competition.  The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, in conjunction with state arts agencies, support this nation-wide program with participants from all fifty states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

More information is available at

Cassandra Bradbury, champion, and Courtney Wick, Arts Council board president

(Credit – William Richards)

By |2019-02-17T15:05:26-06:00February 17th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Winners

Press Release: Poetry Out Loud 2019 Regional Competition

For immediate release                                                                                                               Contact: Sheila Walk

February 4, 2019                                                                                                                                217-753-3519

In the temper and the tantrum, in the well-kept arboretum

I am waiting, like an animal,

For poetry.

By Katy Lederer, “That Everything’s Inevitable” from The Heaven-Sent Leaf (2008)

The Springfield Area Arts Council will host the Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Contest on Wednesday, February 13, at 4:00 P.M. in Theatre Three at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.  There is no admission cost, and all are welcome.

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest in which students test their skills of oration and interpretation through poetry.  Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the state arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Since the pilot program in 2005, more than 3,000,000 students, 10,000 high schools, and 50,000 teachers have participated in Poetry Out Loud nationwide.  [Source:  National Endowment for the Arts]

In Poetry Out Loud, teenagers select, analyze, and commit to memory classic and contemporary poems for recitation.  Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to one of eight regional competitions in Illinois, then to the state tournament, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D. C.

The Springfield Area Arts Council partners with the Illinois Arts Council Agency to bring this program to central Illinois.  This year, 11 area high schools, 35 teachers, and 1,395 students are participating.


Decatur:  Eisenhower High School

Eureka:  Eureka High School

Franklin:  Franklin High School

Pawnee:  Pawnee High School

Peoria:  Quest Charter Academy

Rochester:  Rochester High School

Springfield:  Lutheran High School; Sacred Heart-Griffin High School; Southeast High School; Springfield High School

Teutopolis:  Teutopolis Community High School

By |2019-02-10T22:20:38-06:00February 10th, 2019|News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Press Release: Poetry Out Loud 2019 Regional Competition