Maine students to compete in state poetry finals

The 10 Maine students who will compete in the 2015 Maine State Finals for Poetry Out Loud – a National Poetry Recitation Contest – have been named.

Mohammad Hashmi, Bangor High School; Josef Biberstein, Freeport High School; Mariah Lang, Gardiner Area High School; Emma Curnin, Kents Hill School; Rose Horowitz, Mt. Ararat High School; Charlotte Eisenberg, North Yarmouth Academy; Emma Weissenfels, Oak Hill High School; Owen Sinclair, Rangeley Lakes Regional School; Isabella Labbe, Waterville Senior High School and Ella Werner, Yarmouth High School will perform poetry in the state competition next Wednesday, March 11 at 3 p.m. at the Waterville Opera House.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. In celebration of this milestone anniversary, former Maine State Champions will also be participating at this event. Since Poetry Out Loud began, millions of students at more than 7,300 schools nationwide have been involved. This program, which is administered in the state by the Maine Arts Commission, also gives students an opportunity to master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

Participants in next week’s competition earned their way into the State Finals by first being chosen as their school’s champion and then scoring among the top 10 students from two regional competitions. One student will move on from the State Finals to represent Maine at the National Finals in Washington D.C., where students from across the country will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.

Presented by the Maine Arts Commission in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the State Finals event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and no tickets are required. MPBN’s Public Affairs Host Jennifer Rooks will be the emcee.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please click here or contact Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 287-2713.