Public Event

Southern Illinois 2017 Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition Winners

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Date(s) - 02/23/2017
All Day

Artspace 304



Southern Illinois 2017 Regional Poetry Out Loud participants from left to right: Leah Draper, Nicole Bulmer, Maggie Wyatt, Cleveland Benedict, Trent Grider, and Brandon Feinhold.

Southern Illinois 2017 Regional Poetry Out Loud contest winner Leah Draper, left, gets advice from judge Elyse Pineau.

Southern Illinois 2017 Regional Poetry Out Loud contest runner-up Nicole Bulmer, center, gets advice from contest judges Elyse Pineau and Kevin Purcell while her teacher, Julianne Doty and mother, Christine McConnell look on.

Poetry is alive and well in Southern Illinois!

Carbondale Community Arts is pleased to announce the winner and runner-up of last week’s Poetry Out Loud Southern Illinois Regional Recitation Competition. Held on Thursday, February 23 at CCA’s Artspace 304, at 304 W Walnut St in downtown Carbondale, the house was filled with competing students, teachers and a cheering section of families, friends and community members alike.

Three schools were represented in the competition- Agape Christian School in Marion– coordinated by instructor Julianne Doty; Clay City High School in Clay City, IL– coordinated by instructor Michelle Phegley, and Trinity Christian School in Carbondale– coordinated by instructor Becky Shaffer. Instructors used Poetry Out Loud (POL) curriculum in schools and facilitated competitions at the school level. Winners of each school’s competition represented their respective school at the regional competition.

Competing were Nicole Bulmer, Trent Grider, Brandon Feinhold, and Maggie Wyatt of Agape Christian School; Leah Draper of Clay City High School and Cleveland Benedict of Trinity Christian School. Students each prepared two poems for recitation.

Judges Elyse Pineau (Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at SIU Carbondale, Poet, Performer and Stage Director), Kevin Purcell (Professional Actor, Stage Director and Playwright), Cynthia Roth (Poet and Senior Lecturer in SIUC School of Art and Design) considered criteria set by the POL program as they evaluated each student’s recitation. After two recitation rounds- the scores were tabulated and the winners and runner-up were announced. Following the announcement and presentation of certificates to students, all were invited to linger in the gallery- view the exhibit, socialize and enjoy refreshments.

The regional winner and runner-up will represent Southern Illinois in the state competition on Friday, March 10, 2017 at Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.

The winner of the 2017 Southern Illinois Regional Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition is Leah Draper of Clay City High School in Clay City, IL. The runner-up is Nicole Bulmer, of Agape High School in Marion, IL. Carbondale Community Arts wishes Leah and Nicole all the best for success at state and as they work to fine-tune their poem recitation in preparation.

CCA extends a special thanks to all the teachers who made Poetry Out Loud available in their classrooms and encouraged their students to participate.

CCA also wishes to acknowledge the efforts of past participating teachers and students for whom delayed outreach and scheduling due to the state budget impasse thwarted participation in this year’s regional contest.

                         Poetry Out Loud– is a program that has served high school students across the region since 2006 and provides valuable free curriculum materials for schools as well as the opportunity to compete for scholarship dollars at the national level. This program is made possible by a funding partnership program at the national level by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and at the state level by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.