SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ten Students Compete at Poetry Out Loud State Finals


March 30, 2012

(SitNews) - From a competitive field of more than 5,400 students across the state, Aryeh Lax from Steller Secondary School in Anchorage received the title of 2012 Poetry Out Loud Alaska State Champion at the state finals held in the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on March 27. The first runner-up was Chaya Pike from Sitka High School.

Lax will receive an award of $200 and an all- expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. His school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. First runner-up Pike will receive $100, with $200 for her school library. Third place went to Whitney Winders from Wasilla’s Colony High School.

The other finalists were Jessica Andersen from Unalaska City School; Reilly Clarke from Lathrop High School, Fairbanks; Jesse Klejka from Bethel Regional High School; Darien Southall from Frank A. Degnan High School, Unalakleet; Brittni Tully-Dapcevich from Revilla Alternative High School, Ketchikan; and Ruby Walden from Tok School.

"Poetry Out Loud is an all-out incredible event. The chance to absolutely immerse myself in these poems--to get inside them, and then try to communicate that connection to an audience--is challenging, enlightening, and transformative. I love that there's this kind of opportunity out there for teens," Lax said.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. The Alaska sponsor is the Alaska State Council on the Arts. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council collaborates with the state council to organize the competition.

Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. More than 365,000 students from 2,255 high schools nationwide took part in the 2010–2011 Poetry Out Loud program.

At the state finals at Juneau Arts & Culture Center, 10 contestants from all over Alaska recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 680 classic and contemporary poems. The anthology, a website ( ), a teacher’s guide, and media samples of poetry recitation were created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation as free educational resources for high school students and teachers.

Guest judges presided over the competition, including Ernestine Hayes, Juneau poet and Assistant Professor of English Arts & Sciences at University of Alaska Southeast; Don Reardon, Anchorage poet and writer, a professor at University of Alaska Anchorage and board president of the 49 Writers; Alaska State writer laureate Peggy Shumaker, of Fairbanks; Anchorage poet, writer and wilderness guide Jeremy Patakey; and poet, journalist and Kodiak fisherman Toby Sullivan. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including physical presence, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy.

To find out how to get involved in the 2013 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, visit .  



Source of News: 

Poetry Out Loud


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2012
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.