Poetry-Out-Loud-300x151On January 26, 2014, eleven high school students will recite poetry at the South Carolina Region 3 Poetry Out Loud Competition at the College of Charleston. The free event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Stern Student Center Ballroom (71 George St.).

All students in this competition have already won school-wide Poetry Out Loud contests at the following schools: Atheneum, Ashley Hall School, Charleston County School of the Arts, First Baptist Church High School, Goose Creek High School, Hilton Head Preparatory School, Military Magnet High School, Porter Gaud School, Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, Scholars Academy, and Waccamaw High School.

On January 26th, winners from these schools will vie for the chance to compete the State Poetry Out Loud contest on March 15th in Columbia, SC. One South Carolina state champion will then advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals on April 29-30, 2013 in Washington, DC, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

South Carolina’s Region 3 competition is hosted by the College of Charleston Department of English and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, assisted by members of The Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA). South Carolina Poet Laureate & LILA president Marjory Wentworth and College of Charleston creative writing students will read selections from their own poetry during the event. American Sign Language Interpreters will translate poems as they are read and recited. Contest judges are Conseula Francis, College of Charleston English professor and director of the College’s program in African American Studies and Martha Peeples, a College of Charleston graduate and a professional writer.

Highlights from the 2013 Region 3 competition can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzmInedFIGY&feature=youtu.be

This competition, presented in partnership with the South Carolina Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. http://www.poetryoutloud.org/

For more information, contact Julia Eichelberger eichelbergerj@cofc.edu or 843.953.5646, or Betsey Poore at poorebc@g.cofc.edu.

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