Arts & Entertainment

Livingston High School Student Heads to Poetry Out Loud NJ State Finals

Credits: LPS
Credits: LPS

LIVINGSTON, NJ - David Anderson of Livingston High School (LHS) is heading to the New Jersey state finals in the Poetry Out Loud competition on March 14, at NJPAC in Newark.

The LHS senior, along with Chiamaka Obidigbo of Columbia High School, will represent Region 5 in the national poetry recitation program.

At the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Anderson recited three poems from memory: “Ode for the American Dead in Asia” by Thomas McGrath; “The Tables Turned” by William Wordsworth; and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop.

He was judged on a variety of categories including accuracy, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and demonstration of understanding.

According to the website, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

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After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students accross the country.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

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