Students from Yosemite, Liberty, Madera, Glacier and Chowchilla high schools have been memorizing and practicing poems since last fall to compete at the Madera County Poetry Out Loud finals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yosemite High School.
Members of the public are invited to attend and enjoy the recitations of traditional and contemporary poems. Admission is free. The first place winner from the Madera County competition will move on to the California final March 25 in Sacramento.
Madera County high school students are among hundreds across the state working hard to interpret, memorize and recite classical poetry. At stake are hundreds of dollars on the local and state competition level and thousands at the national finals of Poetry Out Loud -- a competition run by the California Arts Council in the state and started by the National Endowment for the Arts to engage high-school students in the presentation of poetry through memorization and performance.
"Young people interested in rap and slam contests become fascinated with classical poetry when it's presented through the Poetry Out Loud competition," said Kristin Margolis, Literary Arts Specialist for the California Arts Council. "The diversity of participants is remarkable. We've seen students from all environments and academic levels embrace this life-changing program. Poetry Out Loud reminds us why words matter and inspires us to read, examine, reflect, write and speak out loud with confidence."