Arts Council
Grant County sophomore heads to Poetry Out Loud National Finals

Press Release Date:  Monday, April 27, 2015  
Contact Information:  Tom Musgrave
Communications Director
502-564-3757, ext. 489

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Grant County High School sophomore Haley Bryan will compete against 52 other state champions in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C.

Bryan, 16, was one of 14 state finalists who competed in the first and second rounds of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud competition March 12 at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. She advanced to the final round based on her recitations of “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert and “For Love” by Robert Creeley in rounds one and two, respectively. In the final round, Bryan clinched the state championship with her recitation of “Revenge” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. She will take the same three poems with her to Washington.

Bryan said she is looking forward to representing Kentucky in the national competition.

“I’m super excited. I’ve always had a passion for poetry. To be able to be in a competition like this where poetry inspires people means so much to me,” she said. “I’ve got a little bit of nervousness. Public speaking scares everybody, but I’m so ready to do it.”

Bryan said she feels Poetry Out Loud is an important program because it keeps poetry relevant and gives it life.

“Reciting it really helps you get in touch with the author. It keeps that person alive,” Bryan said. “I love that.”

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The 53 national finalists advanced from a field of more than 365,000 students nationwide and will gather in Washington to match skills in reciting classic and contemporary poetry, from William Shakespeare to Maya Angelou.

The top national finalists and their schools will receive $50,000 in awards, including $20,000 for the winner.

The competition will stream live online 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Eastern April 28, and 7 p.m.-9:15 p.m. April 29, on the National Endowment for the Arts website. More information is available at

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Click on thumbnail image to download a print-quality image.

Haley Bryan Haley Bryan, a Grant County High School sophomore, recites a poem during the Kentucky Poetry Out Loud State Finals March 12 in Frankfort. Bryan will compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C.

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