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Mariposa Arts Council Opens “Poetry Out Loud” Contest

MARIPOSA — Mariposa County high students grades 9th – 12th are invited to compete in the Mariposa County Arts Council’s virtual Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition — a national poetry recitation contest that encourages youth voice and agency through the memorization and performance of great historical and contemporary poetry.

This contest requires students to select and memorize 2 poems and submit a video of their recitations to the Arts Council by Mon. Feb. 8 2021. A panel of local experts will evaluate poetry performances on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.

The contestant who scores highest in these criteria’s will be awarded the County Finalist title with a $500 cash prize and will move on to compete in the virtual California State Finals, March 11, 2021. The Mariposa runner-up will receive $250, and 3rd-place, $100.

Students must register for this contest by Jan. 29 at: www.mariposaartscouncil.org/POL.

Overview of contest requirements (full requirements can be found on the POL website www.poetryoutlloud.org or at www.mariposaartscouncil.org/POL):

  • Only open to high school students from Mariposa County, grades 9th – 12th
  • Students must select 2 poems from the Poetry Out Loud official anthology (found on the POL website). One poem must be 25 lines or fewer, and one must be written before the 20th century.
  • Students must memorize these poems completely (off-book) until they can perform an accurate recitation
  • Students must take a video of their best recitations, one for each poem – filmed separately in a single shot. (Videos cannot be edited, do not add music, graphics, titles, etc.) . Students should include the name of the poem and the poet in their videos prior to reciting the poem.
  • Students must attach their videos in an email and submit to the Arts Council at phillips@mariposaartscouncil.org by Mon. Feb. 8, 2021
  • Finalists will be announced by Feb. 12.

Photo: Emilee Cordero performs recitation during the Mariposa County POL Semi-Finals, 2020 Credit: Gracie Tafoya

“California’s Poetry Out Loud program is the largest in the country,” says Daisy Phillips, program coordinator at the Mariposa Arts Council. “Even on a virtual platform, it’s a high-caliber competition and success isn’t just about accuracy when reciting. It’s about presence, delivery and emotional connection to the pieces you are reciting out loud. Poetry is a true and powerful art form, we’re excited to see what Mariposa’s students bring to the table.”

Poetry Out Loud is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

The Arts Council, is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County and is supported in part by the County of Mariposa, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency.

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