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Cheyenne hosts Wyoming Poetry Out Loud State Finals at LCCC

2023 Poetry Out Loud Winning competitors Briley Farris from Buffalo High School, Josephine Haberkorn from Cheyenne East High School, Kearza Martinez from Moorcroft High School, Shalon Wilkerson from Lovell High School, and Elora Umbach from Penn Foster High School in Casper. ( Courtesy Wyoming Arts Council)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Arts Council is hosting the Poetry Out Loud State Finals Competition on Monday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. The event will be held at the Surbrugg/Prentice Auditorium of Laramie County Community College, 1400 E. College Drive.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. the same day at the UP Centennial Room in the Center for Conferences & Institutes building. Both events are open to the public for those who would like to show their appreciation of the poetic arts.

Poetry Out Loud, a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, is a recitation and memorization contest. Targeting students in grades 9–12 from public, private or home schools, POL provides an interactive approach to learning language arts through poetry.

This year, the Wyoming State POL Competition will witness participation from 14 schools across the state. Competing students, having advanced through classroom and school-level contests, will recite three poems each at the state finals. The ultimate winner will earn the prestigious opportunity to represent Wyoming at the national POL competition in Washington, D.C., later in the spring.

Judges and Further Information

The 2024 state competition boasts a panel of notable Wyoming poets, including Izac Garcia, Annelise Wright, Brandon McQuade, Wyoming Poet Laureate Barbara Smith and Lori Pusateri-Lane, Fine & Performing Arts Consultant for the Wyoming Department of Education.

The proceedings will be led by the talented writer, poet and storyteller John Roedel, bringing an additional layer of charisma to the event.

For more details on this enriching poetic experience, interested parties can reach Amara Fehring, Community Development and Arts Education Specialist with the Wyoming Arts Council, by email.