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Thirty-Nine Maryland Students Prepare For Poetry Recitation Competition

Thirty-Nine Maryland Students Prepare For Poetry Recitation Competition


Regional Winners will Advance to State Finals and Chance to Compete Nationally

December 27, 2018Press Release

Baltimore, MD (December 27, 2018) – Thirty-nine high school students from across Maryland will compete in three regional poetry recitation competitions in January and February with support from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). The competitions are part of Poetry Out Loud (POL), a national poetry recitation contest created and co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, which aims to teach students about their literary heritage, build their self-confidence and improve their public speaking skills. This year, students will also have the option of writing an original poem for the Poetry Ourselves competition.

"The Maryland State Arts Council began participating in the national Poetry Out Loud program 14 years ago with two counties,” says Chris Stewart, MSAC POL Director and Arts in Education Program Director. “It has now grown to an average of sixteen counties and 8,000 students. Since the program’s inception, more than 125,000 Maryland students have competed, memorizing at least one poem.”

Region One includes Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties. Its regional competition is Saturday, February 2, 2019, 1:00-3:00 pm, at the Carroll County Arts Council, 91 W Main St., Westminster, MD 21157.

Region Two includes Anne Arundel, Calvert, Howard, Montgomery, and St. Mary's Counties. Its regional competition is Saturday, January 19, 2019, 1:00-3:00 pm, at the Annapolis Shakespeare Company, 1804 West St, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Region Three includes Caroline, Kent, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties. Its regional competition is Saturday, February 16, 2019, 1:00-3:00 pm, at the Sultana Education Foundation, Holt Center, 200 S Cross St, Chestertown, MD 21620.

Three finalists from each Maryland region will advance to the Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Finals, to be held March 2, 2019, 1:00-3:00 pm, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Judges will evaluate the nine participants on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance and name one Maryland State Champion. The state champion will receive a $1,200 prize from the NEA and MSAC and an all- expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud Finals in April 2019. The Maryland State Poetry Ourselves winner will receive a $300 prize.

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About the Maryland State Arts Council
Founded in 1967, MSAC is an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, and encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for all Marylanders. Its grants and programs support artists and arts organizations in their pursuit of artistic excellence, ensure the accessibility of the arts to all citizens, and promote statewide awareness of arts resources and opportunities. MSAC awards grants to not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations and individual artists, and provides technical and advisory assistance to individuals and groups. The agency is funded by an annual appropriation from the State of Maryland and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. MSAC may also receive contributions from private, non-governmental sources. For more information, go to

About the NEA
Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, the publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. For more information, visit

Media Contact: 

Contact for the media:
Dorothy Fuchs, Purple Dot PR
(o) 410-637-8337/(m) 410-598-1719

Contact for the public:
Kayla Morgan
Maryland State Arts Council
(o) 410-767-6412