High School Senior Denise Cao Wins Local Poetry Competition
POETRY OUT LOUD
After winning the countywide Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition on February 16 at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Developing Virtue Girls School senior Denise Cao will represent Mendocino County at the upcoming state finals. Ukiah High School senior Indigo Funk earned second place at the event.
The California Poetry Out Loud state finals will be held March 18-19 in Sacramento. The winner of that event will move on to represent the Golden State in the national finals April 23-25 in Washington, D.C.
At the county competition Denise Cao recited two poems: “Very Large Moth” by Craig Arnold and “Dead Butterfly” by Ellen Bass.
“Denise’s choice of poems really suited her character,” said Blake More, Mendocino County POL Coordinator and Poet Teacher/Area Coordinator for Mendocino County Poetry in the Schools. “She truly owned these poems and it is fitting that she won as this is her fourth year competing at the finals. Last year she made it to state, so she knows exactly what to expect. We are certainly rooting for her!”
Arts Council of Mendocino County Executive Director Alyssum Wier said that she was impressed by the performances from each of the Mendocino County students who competed. “The depth of their connection to the themes within the poems they selected was evident in their impassioned recitations. The beauty of this program is that it combines performance with literary arts and ignites a love of poetry in anyone within earshot!”
This year’s state competition marks the thirteenth California Arts Council production. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Out Loud encouraes High School students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. California’s Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. and has grown steadily since its inception. This year’s competition series encompassed 46 counties, 261 schools, and 783 teachers, reaching nearly 73,000 students across the state.
“California Poetry Out Loud is an exciting display of the potential of our state’s young people, the power of spoken word, and how wonderfully the project builds agency in our youth,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, Director of the California Arts Council. “It is rewarding to see confidence and creativity ignite so powerfully in each of our county champions. The program is truly a testament to arts education as a categorical imperative for the future successes of both our students and our state.”
Event details and a list of state finalists for the 2018 California Poetry Out Loud state finals can be found at the California Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud webpage (arts.ca.gov/initiatives/pol). The first round of competition is scheduled to take place Sunday, March 18, at 4 p.m. at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. Round two begins Monday, March 19 at 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Chambers at the State Capitol. Selected students will compete in a third and final round immediately following the second round of the competition.