"Poetry Out Loud"

Two Trimble Co. students reach finals
of state-level poetry recitation contest

By Don Ward

BEDFORD, Ky. (April 2006) – Two Trimble County students are among the finalists in the Kentucky Arts Council's statewide poetry recitation contest, "Poetry Out Loud" and will compete in Frankfort March 30 for the state title.


And the winner is…

Price Dunlap and Dean Muir were selected from about 200 students across all four grades to represent the school. Both will advance to the state competition in Frankfort, along with two finalists from nine other high schools around the state.
"These are two talented young men who have been active in drama, singing and art, so they are very comfortable performing in front of audiences, and we feel like we're sending off some good competition," said Trimble County teacher-coordinator Karen Long.
The students will be accompanied in Frankfort by English teacher Rita Sutter, since Long cannot attend.
"The students had to memorize the poems, analzye and interpret them, so they were not just reciting them," Long said. "We teach poetry but had never really required students to memorize poems, so this has been educational for all of us."
Dunlap won by reciting a poem titled, "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and "Israfel" by Edgar Allan Poe. Muir recited the poem, "O Captain, My Captain" by Walt Whitman, and "Ma Rainey" by Sterling A. Brown.
The contest is part of the national competition presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Each of the ten participating Kentucky high schools have completed a unit of study on poetry with materials provided by the NEA and a two-day "poetry-intensive" artist residency provided by the Kentucky Arts Council before the school contests started. Trimble County High School's artist in residence is Cynthia Changaris, a Louisville resident and storyteller who owns an artist retreat bed and breakfast in Bethlehem, Ind.

Trimble County Poetry Contestants

Photo provided

Pictured from left are student Dean Muir, drama instructor Jon Graham, student Price Dunlap and English teacher Rita Sutter, who will accompany the students to the poetry recital competition in Frankfort, Ky.

Typically, each of the schools had a drama, storytelling or literary artist come in the school to work with the participating classes in selection, interpretation and presentation. Then participating classes held competitions with the finalist going on to compete in a school-wide competition with judges from the community choosing winners according to NEA prescribed criteria.
The other participating schools in the state finals are Madison Central High School in Richmond; Simon Kenton High in Independence; Christian County High in Hopkinsville; Danville High; Deming High in Mount Olivet; George Rogers Clark High in Winchester; Greenup County High; Mercer County High in Harrodsburg;
The contest will take place at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Judges will be Kentucky Poet Laureate Sena Jeter Naslund; Ken Jones, chair of the Northern Kentucky University Department of Theatre, and Frank X. Walker, Eastern Kentucky University, Department of English and Theatre faculty, author and Affrilachian poet.
The two state finalists will recite their poems and be honored at the Kentucky Writer's Day Celebration on April 24 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. The state winner will receive $200 and an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, on May 16 at the Lincoln Theatre. The winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The state runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for the winning school's library.

• For more information, visit: www.artscouncil.ky.gov.

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