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Poetry Out Loud shows power of the spoken word

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For an up close and powerful way to learn “use your words,” join seven high school students at 1 p.m. on Sundayin the St. Francis Auditorium of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe as they compete to become state champion in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest.

c02_jd_11mar_pologoThis year marks the 12th annual New Mexico Poetry Out Loud event, organizers said in a news release.

Santa Fe radio DJ Michelle Laflamme-Childs, who manages New Mexico Arts public art program, will serve as master of ceremonies. Special guest artists include Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque’s first poet laureate, and state Sen. Bill O’Neill of Albuquerque, a published poet, who will perform original works. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

More than 10,500 New Mexico high school students have participated in the program. Some 1,202 students and 19 teachers took part at the classroom level in preliminary events across New Mexico.

“Poetry Out Loud, at its core, is about the power of poetry,” said Jane Chu, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, in a statement.

bright-spot-logoThe state winner will receive $200, plus $500 for their school library for the purchase of poetry books. In addition, the state champion will receive an all-expense-paid trip, with an adult chaperone, to Washington, D.C., to compete at the National Finals in May. The national champion receives $20,000 in prizes.

Schools’ winners participating in the 2017 state finals include: Lizzy Enos, 15, Bosque School, Albuquerque; D’Nessa McDaniel, 17, Highland High School, Albuquerque; Michelle Zhou, 17, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque; Daimon Sisneros, 18, Maxwell Municipal Schools; Juan Andres Rodriguez, 18, Public Academy for Performing Arts, Albuquerque; Verona Gomez, 18, OƱate High School, Las Cruces; and Julia Johnson-Jaramillo, 17, Taos High School.

The New Mexico Museum of Art is located at 107 West Palace Avenue in downtown Santa Fe. For more information, contact Phyllis Kennedy, New Mexico Arts, at (505) 476-0520 or (800) 879-4278 (statewide), or email phyllis.kennedy@state.nm.us.

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