High school students from across the islands competed in the statewide finals of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at Tenney Theatre, home of Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
Maggie Odom of Le Jardin Academy will represent the state of Hawai’i at the 2019 National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C. Maggie was awarded a $200 check from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her school received a $500 stipend for poetry books. In addition, Maggie will receive an all-expenses-paid trip with chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals on April 30-May 1 where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.
“Poetry and the arts are the way that I understand this world,” Maggie explains. “As a young person in our rapidly changing society, it’s often very hard to make sense of what’s going on around me, much less inside my own mind. The arts give me a safe space to be creative and explore my voice, a space where there’s no right or wrong. To me, the literary and performing arts are incredibly important right now more than ever because despite all of the divide in our world, words can create conversation and community.”
Second place winner is Taylor Cozloff from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. Taylor was awarded a check for $100 from the NEA and her school received a $200 stipend for poetry books.
Third place winner is Ho‘ohieokala Luna-Beamer from Maui High School.
Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and administered in Hawai’i by HTY and the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud helps students to develop analytical and public speaking skills, while building self-confidence.