Nevada County Arts Council announces 2018 Poetry Out Loud champs | TheUnion.com

Nevada County Arts Council announces 2018 Poetry Out Loud champs

Submitted to The Union

The following students participated in Tuesday's 2018 County Poetry Out Loud Competition: Back row from left: Nick Ashbaugh (Nevada Union), Allina Kendall (Bear River) , Kevin Cayabyab (NU), Ray Holcomb (Ghidotti),  Savannah Proctor (Bear River), Margot Roa-O’Brien (NU), Camden Criesco (Bear River), Karlie McCracken (NU). Front row from left: Frather Fanucchi (NU), Lucy Lee Jens (NU), Third-place winner Layla Ray (Bear River), runner-up Michael Keene (Ghidotti), winner Mia Mahruin (NU), Sarai Devi Dasi (Ghidotti).

Following an evening of recitation from high school students from across the county at Nevada Union High School on Tuesday, Nevada County Arts Council announces the winners of its 2018 County Poetry Out Loud Competition.

Mia Mahurin of Nevada Union High School took first place for her recitation of Zacuanpapalotls by Brenda Cardenas and Diameter by Michelle Y. Burke. Michael Keene from Ghidotti won second for Or by Thomas Sayers Ellis and The Albatross by Kate Bass.

Layla Ray won third place for Caged Bird by Maya Angelou and Mega Married Herself by Caroline Bird.

Kirsten Casey, speaking for her fellow judges, Iven Lourie, Stephen Banister, Loraine Webb and Beverly Korenwaser, said: "We all concurred — this was the best recitation group of all the years we have judged." 

"I have witnessed the growth of the program for 10 years now," said Penelope Curtis, who helped organize the final competition. "The students' poem choices have gone from 'run-of-the-mill' to fascinating. The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service had to be retired because it was overused throughout the country. Each year the students' poems have become more sophisticated and last night's were exceptional."

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, referred to the students as heroes.

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"They work so hard for this competition — we are so grateful to them for stepping up, and to their parents for encouraging them," Tudor said. "Kudos, too, to those passionate English teachers in schools across Nevada County who continue to encourage and inspire participation.

According to Chris Olander, a California Poets in the Schools Poetry Out Loud Coach, and member of Nevada County Arts Council's Literary Arts Committee, Mahurin and Keene earned two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento next month. There they are scheduled to have a dinner reception their legislative representative will present them with a certificate of recognition.

At the state level, one winner will be selected to represent California in the national competition. The California State winner receives a $200 cash prize and a trip to Washington, D.C., $500 for their school to purchase literary materials and the opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds. The National Finals in Washington D.C. will be at the end of April.

More information about Poetry Out Loud can be found at http://www.cac.ca.gov/initiatives/pol.php and http://www.nevadacountyarts.org/arts-in-education.

Source: Nevada County Arts Council

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