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Poetry Out Loud at Las Lomas HS

Feb 04, 2016 08:51AM ● By Jennifer Neys

Poetry Out Loud returns to Las Lomas High School’s theatre on Saturday, February 6, at 11am. Sixteen schools in Contra Costa County will participate, and the finalists will compete to represent the county at the California championship on February 29. The national finals take place in May.

Poetry Out Loud is a contest that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Each high school holds a competition in the fall to determine their winner. College Park had six participants, with freshman Nic Doorlay placing first. Doorlay, who recited "Beginnings" by James Wright, will participate in the February 6 competition. “After he won, he worked on this poem with the poetry coach Alison Luterman, who was provided by the county. He will be required to recite two poems at the county competition, and if he wins there, he will need to recite three at the state level,” said Ruth Shumate, College Park librarian who facilitated the competition at Northgate and College Park High Schools. Northgate had three competitors, and senior Emily Zhang came in first place.

The students memorize poems they select from a list of over 800 poems on the Poetry Out Loud website. A panel of judges scores six aspects of their recitations: Accuracy, Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Level of Understanding, and Overall Performance. The cumulative highest scoring student moves on to the state finals in Sacramento. 

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partners with state arts agencies to make Poetry Out Loud happen. For more information, visit or email Robin Moore at [email protected].




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