The finalists from the first two rounds of the New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Competition were announced on Friday, March 8. Five finalists and two alternates from those competitions will go on to the the championship at the State House in Concord on Friday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio's “Word of Mouth,” will be master of ceremonies and the Granite State Ambassadors will serve as volunteers for the State Finals.
All poems recited in the competition must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, which is updated every summer. State and national finals consist of 3 rounds of competition. Criteria for judging includes physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy. Competitions at lower levels may have fewer rounds, but students must recite only 1 poem in each round. The statewide competition leads up to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, which take place April 28 – 30, 2013, in Washington, D.C., coinciding with National Poetry Month.
Below is a list of the top three finalists, alternate and the poems they recited at the competition at Southern New Hampshire University on March 5.
Dessaline Etienne, Goffstown High School
- Ego, Denise Duhamel
- Cartoon Physics part 1, Nick Flynn
- Solitude, Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Amanda Horrocks, Timberlane Regional High School
- A Farmer Remembers Lincoln, Witter Bynner
- The Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tennyson
- Insomnia, Dana Gioia
Caitlin Pierson, Windham High School
- These Poems, She Said, Rob ert Bringhurst
- The Song of the Smoke, W.E.B. Du Bois
- The Snow-Storm, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Alternate: Gabriel Petenotte, Academy for Science and Design
- The Coming of the Plague, Weldon Kees
- Discrimination, Kenneth Rexroth
- Love's Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Below is a list of the top two finalists, alternate and the poems they recited at the competition at Southern New Hampshire University on March 5.
David Gibson, Newfound Regional High School
- Father Son and Holy Ghost, Audre Lorde
- Dream Song 14, John Berryman
- Dover Beach , Matthew Arnold
Kenny Weitzman, Lebanon High School
- Note: Kenny is unable to compete on March 15. He is also a state skiing champion, and already committed to a New England competition on that date. Alexandra Valliant will be competing.
Alternate: Alexandra Valliant, Woodsville High School
- Dream Song 14, John Berryman
- Memory As a Hearing Aid, Tony Hoagland
- No Coward Soul is Mine, Emily Bronte
Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition for high school students and is initiated and funded through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Funds are provided to state arts agencies to implement Poetry Out Loud in high schools around the country. The N.H. State Council on the Arts sponsors the program in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a publicly funded agency within the New Hampshire Department of 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 comes from state appropriations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund.