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February 26, 2015 / ivytechartspartner

Plymouth High School student becomes first three-time Poetry Out Loud state champion



(Indianapolis, Indiana) – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Emma Libersky claimed her third consecutive title as Poetry Out Loud state champion.

A blanket of snow couldn’t stifle the spirit and enthusiasm of the Poetry Out Loud state finals Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Central Branch. Contestants from around the state braved the snow and cold to compete in this, the 10th anniversary of the poetry recitation event.

“All who won their school competitions made it to the state finals, a testament to our teens’ commitment to and passion for speaking their hearts and minds through the art of poetry,” said Sarah Fronczek, Poetry Out Loud program coordinator for the Arts Commission.

In the end, it was Plymouth High School senior Emma Libersky who once again prevailed as champion. First runner-up was Kelsey Anderson, Eastern Greene High School, Bloomfield, and Chinyelu Mwaafrika, Todd Academy, Indianapolis was second runner-up.

Emma won her first state title in 2013 and repeated as state champion for 2014.

The state champion receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in early May. The state champion’s school receives a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

“It was a memorable and most enjoyable day for all involved,” Fronczek said. “We heard many carefully prepared and intuitive interpretations of both famous and more obscure selections from 16th century to contemporary poets. The depth of thinking and feeling evident in these students through their recitations and zeal for this art form affirms that these young people are growing up with much to contribute to our society today.”

Launched in 2006, the annual poetry recitation contest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The program is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, and help students master public speaking, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.

A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the national champion.

The Indiana Arts Commission is dedicated to the vision of the arts everywhere, everyday, for everyone in Indiana.


(photos Laura Harris)







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