FRANKFORT, Ky. — Boyd County High School student Gabby Thompson won the right to travel to Washington, D.C., in April to represent Kentucky in the National Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest by winning the state competition today.
Thompson, a sophomore, was one of 17 high school champions from across Kentucky who competed for the Poetry Out Loud state title. The program, administered by the Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
"I'd like to congratulate Gabby and all of our school champions who competed today at the Poetry Out Loud state finals," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "Each of our competitors demonstrated their commitment to the program's purpose and to great poetry. Their peers and schools should be proud of their accomplishments."
All 17 competitors recited two poems each, from memory. The group was then narrowed to five finalists. Besides Thompson, finalists were Cheyenne Carter, Western Hills High School; Celeste Shearer, Hart County High School; Haley Sullivan, East Ridge High School; and Miranda Webb, Pikeville High School.
Carter, a junior, was the second-place winner. She will receive a $100 cash prize and $200 for her school to purchase library books.
As winner of the state finals, Thompson will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip, with her chaperone, to Washington, D.C., to compete with other state champions in the national finals, April 28-30. Boyd County High School will also receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for its library. The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest will award $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes to winners and top finalists.
Judges for the competition were Richard Taylor, a former Kentucky poet laureate; and Kentucky writers Normandi Ellis and Bianca Spriggs.
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, 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.
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||Seventeen students competed in the Kentucky Poetry Out Loud Finals today in Frankfort. Pictured, from left, are: Kentucky Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows; Poetry Out Loud state champion Gabby Thompson, Boyd County High School; second-place winner Cheyenne Carter, Western Hills High School; and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Deputy Secretary Lindy Casebier.|
||Students who competed in the Kentucky Poetry Out Loud Finals won competitions at the classroom and school-wide levels before advancing to the state competition. Pictured, from left, are Poetry Out Loud state champion Gabby Thompson, Boyd County High School, and second-place winner Cheyenne Carter, Western Hills High School.|
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