Alameda County Poetry Out Loud Competition

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The second annual Alameda County Poetry Out Loud countywide competition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11th @ 10:30 AM at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.

Poetry Out Loud is an national program that celebrates youth and poetry. Recitation and performance are exciting current trends in poetry.

Students from five Alameda County high schools are competing for cash prizes. From the Tri Valley area:  12th grader Rhiannon Kelly from Foothill High School, 11th grader Arany Uthayakumar of Amador Valley High School, and 11th grader Ryan McRee from Dublin High School.

Dublin High junior, Ryan McRee writes poetry, one poem was published by the World Poetry Movement. Ryan is enamored by all the creative arts, and actively pursues his artistic calling as a playwright, actor, and musician.

Amador Valley junior, Arany says, "Words and food are music to my soul, and music is food for my heart."

Rhiannon is a senior at Foothill High School. Though this is her first foray into recitation, she's won many creative writing contests, and just signed a contract to publish a short story. She enjoys photography, playing the euphonium, and pondering existence.

Also competing are last year's Alameda County Poetry Out Loud winner, 10th grader Sam Warrick from College Preparatory School, and runner up, 11th grader Michele Yang from Oakland Military Institute. They represented Alameda County at the California state POL finals in 2011.

Sam Warrick attiends the College Preparatory School. She enjoys riding her horse, reading and watching movies with friends. Her favorite subjects are history and math and Hogwarts. She especially enjoys learning about the World Wars, and the poetry surrounding them.

Michele is currently a Junior at the Oakland Military Institute and a member of her school's armed drill team, and competes in parades and drill meets all over the country. Michelle plans to attend UC Berkeley or Stanford to major in business.

There is a resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. California Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into
California classrooms.

The California Arts Council has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and California Poets in the Schools to support the expansion of California Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the state's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.

School winners advance to the county competition, then onto the state competition at the State Capitol in Sacramento, on March 25-26, and one California student ultimately will go onto the National Finals.

Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and an
all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship.

The state winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals will be awarded to the winners.

Alameda County Poetry Out Loud was made possible by the support from The California Arts Council, California Poets in the Schools, the Alameda County Arts Commission and the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council.

Firehouse Arts Center
Johnson Studio, 2nd Floor
4444 Railroad Avenue
(between Main and 1st Street)
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Information (925) 931-4850
Doors open at 10:10 AM. Free event.



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