Five Students To Compete in the Poetry Out Loud Competition

Abigail Detrick from Northfield High School will return to the Vermont State Poetry Out Loud Competition for the second year. Photo by Peter Weyrauch.

BARRE – Five students from Washington County will travel to the Barre Opera House on March 8 to compete in the 2017 Vermont Poetry Out Loud State Competition. They will join students from 34 high schools representing 11 counties to vie for the state championship in the national poetry recitation competition. The winner will compete in the national competition in April.

“The Poetry Out Loud program not only connects students to poets and poetry, it helps students develop transferable skills like communication and analysis that prepare them for college, career and life,” said Troy Hickman, Vermont Arts Council education programs manager.

These students are already champions, having won their high school’s competition:

  • Madeline Strasser, Harwood Union High School
  • Rachel Sucher, Montpelier High School    
  • Abigail Detrick, Northfield High School    
  • Savanna Ouellette, Spaulding High School              
  • Willa Lane, U-32 High School

This year, more than 5,500 students participated in classroom contests, with winners proceeding to school competitions. Each winner at the school level will recite at the semifinals in Barre. From there, 10 students will be selected to compete in the finals on March 16 at Vermont PBS in Colchester. The winner of the Vermont State Competition then goes to the National Finals in Washington, DC, where he or she will compete against champions from every state in the country.

The Poetry Out Loud program was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is administered statewide by the Vermont Arts Council. Now in its 12th year, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of American high school students to discover and commit to memory classic and contemporary poetry. 

To learn more about the Washington County high school competitions contact:

Harwood Union High School, Tedin Lange,

Montpelier High School, Kerrin McCadden,

Northfield High School, Ann Bushey,

Spaulding High School, Sue Brennan,

U-32 High School, Kara Rosenberg,

The Vermont Arts Council envisions a state where everyone has access to the arts and creativity in their life, education and community. Through its programs and services, the Council strives to increase public awareness of the positive role artists and arts organizations play in communities and to maximize opportunities for everyone to experience the arts. Since 1965, the Council has been the state’s primary provider of funding, advocacy and information for the arts in Vermont.

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