Maine Arts Commission Announces Top 10 Poetry Out Loud Finalists

  • March 01, 2017

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AUGUSTA, ME--The art of poetry and competition is alive and well in Maine, as 42 individual high school students competed at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals February 27 and 28.  

This year's regional poetry recitation contest was hosted at Hampden Academy in the north, and Thornton Academy in the south. The Maine Arts Commission, which administers the competition at the state level, is pleased to announce the top 10 finalists who will now compete in State Finals at the Waterville Opera House on March 13 at 3 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Congratulations to the following finalists:

Northern Maine Regional Champions

·      Natalie Lisnet, Grade 12, Bangor High School

·      Kate Hodgson, Grade 12, Camden Hills Regional High School

·      Emma Beyor, Grade 12, Erskine Academy

·      Gabrielle Cooper, Grade 12, Gardiner Area High School

·      Antyna Gould, Grade 12, Medomak Valley High School

 Southern Maine Regional Champions

·      Amran Mahamed, Grade 11, Deering High School

·      Jordan Bryant, Grade 10, Greely High School

·      Sabrina Small, Grade 12, Maine Coast Waldorf School

·      Skyler Vaughn, Grade 12, The Maine Girls’ Academy

·      Arielle Leeman, Grade 12, Morse High School

Poetry Out Loud is organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to encourage performance art, memorization, and public speaking skills in high schools nationwide. Since the contest started in 2005, nearly three million students and 10,000 schools have participated in Poetry Out Loud.  Maine high schools consistently draw a high participation rate from around the state.  The top-qualifying student from each participating school is selected to compete in either the Northern or Southern Regional Finals. 

During the competition, there are two rounds of recitation in which students must perform one poem written pre-20th century, and one poem that consists of 25 lines or fewer.  The final round is reserved for the top 10 performers of the two previous rounds to recite one final poem. Performances are judged on the student's physical presence, vocal articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding of the poem.  A juried panel then chooses the top five finalists from each region to move on the state finals.

The Maine State Finals will take place on March 13 at the Waterville Opera House. The doors will open at 2:30 p.m. The state champion will receive $200, as well as a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for the winner’s school. The state champion will then be flown to Washington D.C. in April for the national finals and to compete for a total of  $50,000 in awards and school stipends, as well as a $20,000 scholarship.

For more information about the state and national finals, please visit Maine Arts Commission: Poetry Out Loud 2017 or contact Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education at or 207-287-2713.


 The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, art organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years the Commission has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; has worked to expand the state's cultural resources; and encouraged and assisted freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at





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Argy Nestor

Maine Arts Commission
193 State Street
Augusta   ME  04333