Western Hills High School Student Barbara Gooding Wins the 2009 Kentucky State Finals of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest
FRANKFORT, Ky.— Barbara Gooding, a junior at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, emerged as the winner among 26 high school students from across the commonwealth that competed in the fourth annual Poetry Out Loud state finals today, presented by the Kentucky Arts Council and hosted by Western Hills High School in Frankfort. Torie DiMartile of Beechwood High School in Ft. Mitchell was named runner-up.
The ten finalist students were Gooding, DiMartile; Garrett Walters, Frankfort High School, Frankfort; Kenaniah Taft, North Bullitt High School, Shepherdsville; Blair Boyd, Oldham County High School, Buckner; Dakota Rogers, Mercer County Senior High School, Harrodsburg; Chandler Taylor, Glasgow High School, Glasgow; Taylor Wallace, Bethlehem High School, Bardstown; Michael Alex Owings, Paducah Tilghman High School, Paducah; and Jacquise Lockett, Fulton Independent School, Hickman.
Gooding will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals on April 27 and 28, 2009. Her school also receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, and $10,000 and $5,000 for the second- and third-place finalists. The remaining nine finalists each receive $1,000, and the schools of the top 12 finalists each will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
Kentucky runner-up DiMartile will receive $100 with $200 for the Beechwood 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. The program develops 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 states and the District of Columbia winners.
Participants in the Kentucky state finals were the school winners from 28 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 Richard Albin, Mitch Barrett, Cynthia Changaris, Kathi E. B. Ellis, Thomas Freese, Mary Hamilton, Pam Holcomb, Susan Pope, Bet Stewart, and Shannon Woolley. Students worked with these professional artists in selecting, interpreting and rehearsing their poems.
Kentucky writers Jane Gentry, Frederick Smock and Crystal Wilkinson served as judges for the competition.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that creates opportunities 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, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of individual students performing their recitations are available upon request to Ed.Lawrence@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.