When we speak as poets, we are truest to our humanity and we assume a sacred task. We ascend as angels ascend. We put on our wings. Brown, White, Asian, Black. We ascend as angels ascend. (Angela Jackson, Illinois Poet Laureate)
The Springfield Area Arts Council will host the Poetry Out Loud Central Illinois Regional Contest on Thursday, February 15, at 4:00 P.M. in Peggy Ryder Theatre at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. There is no admission cost, and all are welcome. The venue is accessible.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. It is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and state and jurisdictional arts agencies.
Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4.2 million students and 72,000 teachers from 18,000 schools and organizations in every state, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. [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 (also held in Springfield, March 11, 10:00 A.M.), 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, 6 area high schools, 22 teachers, and 1,054 students are participating.
Decatur: Eisenhower High School
Eureka: Eureka High School
Pawnee: Pawnee High School
Springfield: Lutheran High School; Sacred Heart-Griffin High School; Southeast High School
More information available at www.poetryoutloud.org.