Park University will host the regional high school competition Poetry Out Loud on Tuesday, Feb 16. This marks the second year Park will be the site of the regional competition for "Poetry Out Loud," at which local high school students recite three poems each. This year's competition will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the McCoy Meetin' House, located on the University's Parkville Campus. The event is free and open to the public.
The participants are winners from competitions held at Platte County High School; Park Hill South High School; Winnetonka High School; Kansas City Academy; Oak Park High School and Main Street Academy.
Performance judges include creative writer and Park English adjunct instructor Rhiannon Dickerson; poet and Latino Writers Collective member Gabriella Lemmons; and local improv artist and actor Erik Johnson. Joe Cunningham, Park English as an International Language faculty member, will serve as accuracy judge. Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., associate professor of English and chair of Park's Department of English and Modern Languages, serves as regional coordinator of the event.
"This is such a wonderful community event," Brackett said. "It celebrates the spoken word and features some great talent from our high schools. These are skilled and committed students to be able to memorize three poems and stand up to say those words in front of a crowd."
An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.
State champions will receive a plaque, traveling trophy and all-expense-paid trip (with two parents or chaperones) to Washington, D.C. for the national finals. A total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded at the national finals. The national champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship. For more information about the national competition, visit www.poetryoutloud.org/.
For more information on Park's regional competition, contact Brackett at (816) 584-6818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.