Pikeville High School Student Amy Cordero Wins the 2008 Kentucky State Finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest
FRANKFORT, Ky.—Amy Cordero emerged as the winner among 23 high school students from across the commonwealth that competed in the third annual Poetry Out Loud state finals today, hosted by the Kentucky Arts Council on the campus of Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Emmanuel Nfor of Western Hills High School in Franklin County was named runner-up.
Cordero will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals for a $20,000 scholarship prize on April 28 and 29, 2008. Her school, Pikeville High School also receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books while the runner-up Nfor will receive $100 with $200 for the Western Hills High School library. Both the Kentucky winner and runner-up will be invited to recite their poems at the Kentucky Writer’s Day Celebration, April 24, in Frankfort.
Poetry Out Loud is presented by state arts agencies such as the Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Last year over 100,000 high school students across the country participated in the program, which aims to develop young people’s public speaking skills, self-confidence, and knowledge of their literary heritage.
Starting at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition and finally to the national competition, where 12 finalists and ultimately the Poetry Out Loud National Champion are chosen from the 50 state and the District of Columbia winners. Both of Kentucky’s past state winners, Kendra Holloway and Dean Muir, were chosen as national finalists.
Participants in the Kentucky state finals have been selected from 23 high schools that completed a unit of study on poetry with materials provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and an artist residency provided by the Kentucky Arts Council before the contests began. Participating artists from the Kentucky Arts Council’s Arts Education Roster included Dick Albin, Angelyn DeBord, Bet Stewart, Cynthia Changaris, Katherine Mapother, Kathi E. B. Ellis, Mitch Barrett, Octavia Sexton, Shannon Woolley, and Susan Pope. Students worked with these professional artists in selecting, interpreting, and rehearsing their poems.
Judges this year were Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry Vance, Sarah Gorham, poet and co-founder of Sarabande Books, Inc. in Louisville and Hasan Davis, a nationally-recognized performer, poet, and youth advocate. Kentucky Arts Council Board Member, Wilma Brown, served as accuracy official. Special guest Dr. Sarah Cunningham, Director of Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts presented awards to the state winner and runner-up, as well as each high school finalist.
The finalists from each school competing were:
Allen County-Scottsville High School, Scottsville
Teacher Coordinator: Larissa Haynes
Finalist: Amanda Anderson
Poems: “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns and “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ballard High School, Louisville
Teacher Coordinator: Colleen Gnau
Finalist: Joy Beth DeWitt
Poems: “Agoraphobia” by Linda Pastan and “Up-Hill” by Christina Rosetti
Barren County High School, Glasgow
Teacher Coordinator: R. Alison Bradford
Finalist: Daniel Dutton
Poems: “Oh Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Boyd County High School, Ashland
Teacher Coordinator: Dana R. Powers
Finalist: Holly Brown
Poems: “In A Dark Time” by Theodore Roethke and “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Daviess County High School, Owensboro
Teacher Coordinator: Angela Gunter
Finalist: Jessica Basham
Poems: “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar and “The More Loving One” by W.H. Auden
Glasgow High School, Glasgow
Teacher Coordinator: Mary Fye
Finalist: Hannah Burd
Poems: “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo and “On Monsieur’s Departure” by Queen Elizabeth I
Grayson County High School, Leitchfield
Teacher Coordinator: Thomas Moudry
Finalist: Cortney Paris
Poems: “Domestic Violence” by Eavan Boland and “Song in the Front Yard” by Gwendolyn Brooks
Greenup County High School, Greenup
Teacher Coordinator: David DeBorde
Finalist: Morgan Wells
Poems: “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe and “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood
Hopkinsville High School, Hopkinsville
Teacher Coordinator: Julie Jones
Finalist: Vernell Bourne
Poems: “Harlem” by Langston Hughes and “To the Ladies” by Lady Mary Chudleigh
Mercer County High School, Harrodsburg
Teacher Coordinator: Betty Dean
Finalist: Dakota Rogers
Poems: “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning and “Chicago” by Carl Sandberg
Montgomery County High School, Mount Sterling
Teacher Coordinator: Kim Barnes
Finalist: Jordan Campbell
Poems: “The Tyger” by William Blake and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe
Monticello High School, Monticello
Teacher Coordinator: Jennifer Chaplin
Finalist: Tasia York
Poems: “Fever 103°” by Sylvia Plath and “Do Not” by Stevie Smith
North Hardin High School, Radcliff
Teacher Coordinator: Michelle Kessler
Finalist: Nichelle Green
Poems: “How I Discovered Poetry” by Marilyn Nelson and “Bilingual Bilingüe” by Rhina P. Espaillat
Ohio County High School, Hartford
Teacher Coordinator: Kent Maikranz
Finalist: Erica Martin
Poems: “Detroit Tomorrow” by Philip Levine and “In a Dark Time” by Theodore Roethke
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington
Teacher Coordinator: Amanda Cope
Finalist: Kelsey Turcotte
Poems: “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare and “Another Feeling” by Ruth Stone
Pikeville High School, Pikeville
Teacher Coordinator: Rebecca King
Finalist: Amy Cordero
Poems: “Beauty” by Tony Hoagland and “Fever 103°” by Sylvia Plath
Russell Independent High School, Russell
Teacher Coordinator: Michelle Light
Finalist: Luke Lewis
Poems: “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
Russellville High School, Russellville
Teacher Coordinator: Bethanie Hargett-Slack
Finalist: Kimberly Baugh
Poems: “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “Oh Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman
Shelby County High School, Shelbyville
Teacher Coordinator: Stacey Moore
Finalist: Kayla Nash
Poems: “Holy Sonnets: Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne and “Flirtation” by Rita Dove
Simon Kenton High School, Independence
Teacher Coordinator: Laura Medley Schneider
Finalist: Samantha Riegler
Poems: “Father” by Edgar Albert Guest and “Playing Dead” by Andrew Hudgens
Taylor County High School, Campbellsville
Teacher Coordinator: Vicky Haydon
Finalist: Amanda Russell
Poems: “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General” by Jonathan Swift and “The Properly Scholarly Attitude” by Adelaide Crapsey
Trimble County High School, Bedford
Teacher Coordinator: Marcie Jackson
Finalist: Amanda Durand
Poems: “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer and “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Western Hills High School, Frankfort
Teacher Coordinator: Lauren Hill
Finalist: Emmanuel Nfor
Poems: “Forgetfulness’ by Billy Collins and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
L. to R. Arts Council Board Member Wilma Brown, Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows, Poetry Out Loud State Finals Winner Amy Cordero, National Endowment for the Arts Director of Arts Education Dr, Sarah Cunningham and Arts Council Arts Education Director John S. Benjamin.
L. to R. Arts Council Board Member Wilma Brown, Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows, Poetry Out Loud State Finals Winner Amy Cordero, State Finals Runner-up Emmanuel Nfor, National Endowment for the Arts Director of Arts Education Dr, Sarah Cunningham and Arts Council Arts Education Director John S. Benjamin.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 invested in operating support grants by the Kentucky Arts Council leverages $24 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. For more information, please visit www.artscouncil.ky.gov.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.