FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2020
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
NH’s Hall of Representatives to welcome inspiring youth at state’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud Championship
New Hampshire’s historic Representatives Hall, the center of the state’s legislative body for more than 200 years, will switch gears from politics to poetry on March 13 when it transforms to become the site of the 2020 N.H. Poetry Out Loud Championship.
This is the 10th year that the finals will take place at the State House, and the 15th year that New Hampshire has participated in the national Poetry Out Loud program.
At the state finals, 12 students, all top performers at semi-final competitions, will be vying to represent New Hampshire at the national finals in Washington, D.C. Each will be prepared to recite three poems from the collection curated by the National Poetry Foundation; students must select at least one poem written before the 20th century and one with 25 lines or fewer.
By selecting, memorizing and reciting outstanding poems, Poetry Out Loud participants develop public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about both literary history and contemporary life. Students consistently report that learning and reciting poetry is an experience that changes their lives.
More than 9,000 New Hampshire students from 40 high schools and school groups participated in this year’s program. Competitions began at the classroom level, advanced to school championships and then regional semi-finals in the weeks before the state championship.
The 2020 N.H. Poetry Out Loud Championship begins promptly at 5 p.m. It is open to the public and there is no charge to attend, but seating does fill up quickly.
A performance by student dancers from the Concord-based non-profit “Vibes of Style” will kick off the evening.
Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. In New Hampshire it is led by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.
New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud supporters include the New Hampshire Learning Initiative and the Putnam Foundation – a donor-advised fund of the N.H. Charitable Foundation. Other partners include Brightspot Consultants, New Hampshire Public Radio, the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Writers Project, Slam Free or Die, the Frost Place and Granite State Ambassadors.To learn more about 2020 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, visit nh.gov/nharts.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at nh.gov/nharts.