Dean Muir Wins Kentucky Poetry Out Loud Competition
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Dean Muir came out on top after competing against 15 other students from across the Commonwealth at the Kentucky State Finals Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council at Kentucky State University on March 13, 2007. The Kentucky Poetry Out Loud initiative is part of the national competition presented by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.
Muir’s innovative recitations of “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes and “Preludes” by T. S. Elliot won him an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals on April 30th and May 1st in the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, a $200 cash prize, a trip for his chaperone and $500 to his school library, Trimble County High School, for the purchase of poetry. The national winner will receive $20,000 of the $50,000 in scholarship funds being awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest.
Erica Martin from Ohio County High School was the state runner-up with her moving recitations of “Revenge” by Leticia Elizabeth Landon and “Broken Promises” by David Kirby. She won a cash prize of $100 and Ohio County High School received $200 for the purchase of poetry for their library.
Muir and Martin have also been invited back to Frankfort to recite their poems and be honored at the Kentucky Writers’ Day Celebration presented by the Kentucky Arts Council on April 24, 2007 in the Capitol Rotunda. Also, Kentucky’s newly appointed Poet Laureate for 2007-2008 will be officially inducted during the celebration.
Judges for the Kentucky State Finals of the National Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest were Kentucky Poet Laureate Emeritus Richard Taylor; Crystal Wilkinson, writer and Affrilachian Poet and Sarah Gorham, poet and publisher.
Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Other participating students and their schools were Robbie McMath, Beechwood High School; Joe Gunning, Bethlehem High School; Robin M. Owens, Carroll County High School; Jake Holder, Collegiate High School; Brent Morrison, Glasgow High School; Megan Gandy, Hart County High School; Hannah Jacobs, Harvest Christian Academy; Tasia York, Monticello Independent School; Sarah Whisman, Montgomery County High School; Danielle DiMuro, Simon Kenton High School;
Traci Stewart, Powell County High School; Emmanuel Nfor, Western Hills High School and Lauren Oberg, Westport TAPP.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org. For more information about the Kentucky Arts Council, visit www.artscouncil.ky.gov .
NOTE TO EDITORS: High-resolution print-quality photo available at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Press_Images/PoetryOutLoud_Presentation07.jpg
PHOTO: L. to R. Kentucky Arts Council Board Member Wilma Brown, Dean Muir, Erica Martin and John H. Hewitt, Director of Development for the National Endowment for the Arts.
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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.