“Poetry Out Loud” Competition is Underway in Yuba-Sutter

Poetry Out Loud Winners with Senator Nielsen

At Yuba Sutter Arts, the literary arts are high on our list of priorities. So for the ninth year, we will once again sponsor the annual Poetry Out Loud competition in conjunction with the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

There’s still plenty of time for our local high school English, Speech, Theatre and all teachers to encourage students to participate. In the past, some very creative English teachers have even told their students that they will award extra credit points or even accept student participation in the Poetry Out Loud competition in lieu of an assignment. This may help energize students and get them excited about memorizing a poem!

The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. Yuba Sutter Arts works with local teachers, but students may compete independently regardless of whether or not Poetry Out Loud is part of the curriculum.   All currently enrolled students in grades 9-12 are eligible. All poems must be selected from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, which is updated every year. Visit www.poetryoutloud.org for the current list of over 900 poems and more information about the competition. Only versions of poems from the official anthology may be used in the contest.

This year, Yuba Sutter Arts will host two separate county competitions due to the high level of student participation last year. Yuba County students will compete on Tuesday, February 6th and Sutter County students will compete on Thursday, February 8th. Each competition begins at 6pm and will take place on stage at the Burrows Center for the Arts in Marysville.

Yuba Sutter Arts has increased the prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in both counties. Third place winners will receive $75, second place winners will receive $100 and first place winners will receive $150 and then compete at the state finals at the Capitol in Sacramento in March. And everyone gets pizza!

Our county winners will be treated to an unforgettable two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento in March. At the state level, one winner will be selected to represent California in the national competition. The California State winner receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. in April to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds.

Judging is based on Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Level of Complexity, Evidence of Understanding and Overall Performance. Also, students may not use props or wear costumes during their recitations. Assistance with poem selection and recitation is readily available from various qualified Yuba Sutter Arts members. Do not hesitate to contact us for help!  530-749-8065.

All participants at the competition will receive pizza, soft drinks and gift cards! We look forward to welcoming students, teachers, parents and the entire community to this exciting event.