The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and Alaska Arts Education Consortium have announced the participants in state finals for the Poetry Out Loud competition. Eight students from across the state have been selected: Jessica Wilder from Anchorage, Susan Way from Fairbanks, Sami Martinez from Juneau, April Hostetter from Igiugig, Berett Wilber from Sitka, Kristen Luchsinger from Wasilla, Elizabeth Porter from Delta Junction, and Kira Wilkinson from Kwigillingok.
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, performance, and competition.
These eight students will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 600 classic and contemporary poems.
The state finals will begin at 5 p.m., Feb. 23, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The master of ceremonies will be Joe Nelson, director of admissions at University of Alaska Southeast. Guest judges for the event include: Willie Hensley, writer and politician raised in Kotzebue; Linda Schandelmeier, a writer and poet from Fairbanks; Emily Wall, a local writer and the editor of the UAS literary magazine Tidal Echoes; Heather Lends, a columnist and author from Haines; and Dave Hunsaker, a local playwright and screenwriter.
The event is free and open to the public.
The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Alaska finals will receive $200, and the winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The second place finalist will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. All state contenders will receive an Alaska book of poetry for participating.
The state champion of Poetry Out Loud Alaska final will receive an all-expense paid trip (with chaperone) to compete in the National Finals in Washington DC, on April 26-27, 2010. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will bestow a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.
For more information on the state finals, contact the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council at 586-ARTS (-2787) or visit www.jahc.org. For more information on the poetry competition, visit www.poetryfoundation.org