FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2021
Newmarket High School’s Bozek named 2021 NH Poetry Out Loud Champion;
Bow High School’s Budd selected as alternate
The N.H. State Council on the Arts has announced that Lilla Bozek from Newmarket High School is the winner of the 2021 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud High School Championship. Rachel Budd from Bow High School was selected as alternate champion.
As state champion, Bozek receives $200 and Newmarket High School receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Budd will receive $100, with an additional $200 stipend for Bow High School’s poetry book collection.
Bozek will represent New Hampshire at the national finals, which will be held as a video submission-based competition. Should Bozek be unable to participate in the finals, Budd will represent the Granite State.
Since Poetry Out Loud’s founding in 2005, tens of thousands of students from across New Hampshire have participated in the program, choosing poems to memorize and recite from a roster curated by the Poetry Foundation. Their recitations are judged on several criteria, including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and accuracy.
Each year, competitions begin at the classroom level, advance to school championships and then to semi-final competitions prior to the state championship.
This year, to simulate in-person competition for the semi-final round, nineteen high school champions worked with their teachers to create “live-to-tape” video recordings of their recitations, using guidelines developed by the Arts Council. The recordings were then submitted for scoring by judges who used the same criteria that are applied when competitions take place in person.
Eight semi-finalists advanced to the 2021 New Hampshire state championship. Those students each selected two poems to recite live-to-tape and submit for the two qualifying rounds. Following the model of in-person competition, the four students with the highest scores had a third recitation evaluated by the judges.
In addition to Bozek and Budd, the other students competing in the final round at the championship were Oliver Andrews from Kearsarge Regional High School and Deborah Umwiza from Laconia Christian Academy.
Led in New Hampshire by the N.H. State Council on the Arts, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
New Hampshire’s Poetry Out Loud supporters include the New Hampshire Learning Initiative and Brightspot Consultants, New Hampshire Public Radio, the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Writers Project, Slam Free or Die, and the Frost Place.
To learn more about 2021 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud, visit nh.gov/nharts and click on the Poetry Out Loud button.
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.