79 Massachusetts High School Students to Compete in 2013 POETRY OUT LOUD, 3/2-3 & 10


Seventy-nine students from across The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will compete at four regional semi-final competitions as part of the eighth annual Poetry Out Loud March 2 and 3. Competitions will be held in Boston, Framingham, Springfield, and on Cape Cod. Each participating student recently won his or her individual school's competition in order to advance. The winners will advance to the State Finals on Sunday, March 10 at Boston's Old South Meeting House. All upcoming competitions are free and open to the public.

Semi-Final Competition Information:

Boston: Sat., March 2, 9:30am
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street, Boston

Framingham: Sat., March 2, 9:30am
Framingham Temple Association
404 Concord Street Framingham

Springfield: Sun., March 3, 10am
Community Music School of Springfield
127 State Street, Springfield

Cape Cod: Sun., March 3, 1pm
Cultural Center of Cape Cod
307 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation competition that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students' literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. Since its inception seven years ago, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry.

Nearly 20,000 students from 82 Huntington-supported high schools across The Commonwealth competed in recent months in classroom and school-wide competitions. A complete list can be found at the end of this release.

The Massachusetts POL winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC this coming spring to compete in the national finals. The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts competition with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Judges and prompters include Jamele Adams (poet), Carole Alkins (Huntington Trustee), Michael Brown (Huntington Trustee), Charles Coe (poet, Massachusetts Cultural Council program officer [CIP]), Cynthia Dickinson (Director of Interpretation and Programming, Emily Dickinson Museum), Erika Koss (teacher, former NEA employee who helped found POL), Lynne Johnson (Executive Director, Hudson Area Arts Alliance), Joie LeMaitre (Huntington Trustee, Education Committee chair), Noel McCoy (Huntington Overseer), Wendall Taylor (Huntington Overseer), and Amanda Torres (poet).

"The study of poetry may be especially important for kids growing up in the age of tweets," observed The Boston Globe. "Close reading, after all, is essentially an act of listening; to learn a poem well enough to speak it aloud with confidence requires careful attention to someone else's words, someone else's experience. It means tuning out the clamor of voices competing for your attention - including your own - until you've fully heard what another person is saying."

"There's something about a one-, two-, three-minute poem," says the Huntington's director of education and community programs. "The young people competing bring such understanding of universal themes like love, loss, and fear.' You don't see their age. They get up there and you don't see a high school student, you just see a person.'

Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre into the English class. The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Huntington sponsor the Massachusetts contest; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation sponsor the competition on the national level. For more information, go to poetryoutloud.org, and for more about this competition, visit huntingtontheatre.org/pol.

Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston's leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across The Commonwealth. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. For more, visit massculturalcouncil.org.

2013 Participating High Schools:

Acton Boxborough Regional High School
Algonquin Regional High School
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Amherst Regional High School
Avon Middle High School
Barnstable High School
Berkshire School
Boston Adult Technical Academy
Boston College High School
Boston Latin School
Brighton High School
British School of Boston
Brookline High School
Burlington High School
Claremont Academy
Codman Academy Public Charter School
Covenant Christian Academy
Concord-Carlisle Regional High School
Dartmouth High School
Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School
Dexter School
Doherty Memorial High School
Dracut Senior High School
East Boston High School
Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
Fairhaven High School
Falmouth Academy
Fitchburg High School
Framingham High School
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
Frontier Regional High School
Global Learning Charter Public School
Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
Hanover High School
Harwich High School
Haverhill High School
Hingham High School
Holyoke High School
The John Dewey Academy
John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science
Lexington High School
Malden High School
Masconomet Regional High School
Melrose High School
Meridian Academy
Minnechaug Regional High School
Monument Mountain Regional High School
Mt. Everett Regional High School
Needham High School
Newburyport High School
New Mission High School
Norwell High School
Pembroke High School
Presentation of Mary Academy
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Provincetown High School
Randolph High School
Resiliency Preparatory School
Revere High School
Rockland High School
Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School
Salem Academy Charter School
Saugus High School
South Hadley High School
Southfield School
Sparhawk School
Springfield Central High School
Springfield High School of Commerce
Springfield High School of Science & Technology
Stoneham High School
Sturgis Charter Public School East
Sturgis Charter Public School West
Swampscott High School
Taunton High School
Tyngsborough High School
Urban Scholars
Waltham High School
West Springfield High School
Westfield High School
Whitman Hanson Regional High School
Wilbraham and Monson Academy
Wilmington High School

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