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Dyer Rhoads is the 2013 Maine State Champion 

 

Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco has announced Dyer Rhoads of Waynflete School as the 2013 State Poetry Out Loud Champion. Blanco, who presented signed copies of his inaugural poem to all the finalists, went on to announce Iman Omar, from Deering High School, as the State Runner-up. Both students will receive cash awards and their schools will receive prize money to purchase poetry books for their libraries.

After surviving classroom, school wide and regional level competitions, ten state finalists gathered at the Gracie Theatre in Bangor to recite three rounds of poetry from memory in front of television cameras and a packed audience. Dyer Rhoads was ultimately selected as state champion and will represent the State of Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals on April 28-30 in Washington, D.C.

Rhoads impressed a top panel of judges to become the 2012 State Champion reciting three poems during the competition: "Onions" by William Matthews, "Break of Day" by John Donne and "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The Maine Arts Commission thanks all the students that made the 2013 competition an amazing event:

Iman Omar - Deering High School
Christian E. Heath - Gardiner Area High School
Skyler Samuelson - Merriconeag Waldorf High School 
Jai Aslam - Messalonskee High School
Isabelle Fall - Mt. Ararat High School
Abigail Abbott - Rangeley Lakes Regional School
Brianna Housman - Searsport District High School
Morgan Wiggan - Thornton Academy
Bethanie Brown - Waterville Senior High School
Dyer Rhoads - Waynflete School
 

Poetry Out Loud is a national program organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. The competition begins in Maine's schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten students are ultimately selected to appear at the state final. One student moves on from the state final to represent Maine at the national finals in Washington D.C., where students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.

 

The 2012 Poetry Out Loud Maine State Champion

The Maine Arts Commission wishes to congratulate Tyler O’Brien of Merriconeag Waldorf High School as the 2012 State Poetry Out Loud Champion and Kiana Sawyer, from Portland High School, as the State Runner-up. Both students will receive cash awards and their schools will receive prize money to purchase poetry books for their libraries.

 

poetry out loud photo

State Champion Tyler O’Brien and Runner-upKiana Sawyer with MPBN’s Suzanne Nance.

The competition began in Maine during December with 8,000 students competing at the classroom level with the help of 250 teachers from 43 public, private and parochial high schools from across the state. After surviving classroom, school wide and regional level competitions, ten state finalists gathered in Lewiston to recite three rounds of poetry from memory in front of television cameras and a live audience at the Olin Arts Center. Tyler O’Brien was selected as state champion and will now represent the State of Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals on May 13-15 in Washington, D.C. As state champion, O’Brien will receive an all expenses paid trip for two to the national final, where he will compete for the national title and $50,000 in cash and prizes. All prizes, as well as all materials for running this popular program in high schools across the nation, come directly from the National Endowment for the Arts and their partner in Poetry Out Loud, the Poetry Foundation.

 

The students that competed at this year’s final were: Bethanie Brown from Waterville Sr. High School; Joshua Elwood from Bangor High School; Monica Frempong from Morse High School; Eloise Harnett from Gardiner Area High School; Brianna Housman from Searsport District High School; Avery Laderer from Boothbay Region High School; Tyler O’Brien from Merriconeag Waldorf High School; Makaela Reinke from George Stevens Academy; Kiana Sawyer from Portland High School and Ellyn Touchette from Gorham High School.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network televised the state final live from the Olin Arts Center on the Bates College Campus in Lewiston; click here to view the 2012 Poetry Out Loud Maine State Finals.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207/287-2713 or by email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.