Placer Arts presented the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest Sunday afternoon at the General Gomez Arts & Event Center in Auburn. Approximately 50 family, friends and poetry enthusiasts gathered to hear seven high school student regional finalists recite poems in the hopes of representing Placer County and advancing to the California State finals on Feb. 28 and 29 at the capitol in Sacramento.
The Poetry Out Loud contest encourages the study of poetry on a high school level. Students choose, memorize and recite two poems and then are judged on their presentation. Some of the points the judges are looking for are physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of complexity, evidence of understanding and the students overall performance.
“Poetry Out Loud season is my favorite time of the year, because it inspires me as a poet, a mom and a human being to see what students can do with presenting a poem to an audience,” said PlacerArts Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Julie Valin. “I always tell students that they have the power to take a poem that is stagnant on a page, and bring it to life in a way that is always surprising, moving and life-affirming.”