State finalists announced for Poetry Out Loud

The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council have announced the state finalists for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, recitation, and competition.

On March 27, at 5 p.m., 10 high school students from around the state will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 680 classic and contemporary poems.

The Alaskan finalists are: Jessica Andersen from Unalaska City School, Unalaska; Reilly Clarke from Lathrop High School, Fairbanks; Katie Jones from Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau; Jesse Klejka from Bethel Regional High School, Bethel; Aryeh Lax from Steller Secondary School, Anchorage; Chaya Pike from Sitka High School, Sitka; Darien Southall from Frank A. Degnan High School, Unalakleet; Brittni Tully-Dapcevich from Revilla Alternative High School, Ketchikan; Ruby Walden from Tok School, Tok; and Whitney Winders from Colony High School, Wasilla.

The state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

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