CARSON CITY, Nev. — Dominique Groffman, a senior at Douglas High School in Douglas County, will compete in the national Poetry Out Loud finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C. She is one of 53 finalists from a field of 365,000 students who competed in the poetry recitation competition throughout the country. Groffman was named state champion at the Poetry Out Loud Nevada State Finals March 14 at the Siena Hotel in Reno. She recited “Planetarium” by Adrienne Rich, “To Live with a Landscape” by Constance Urdang and “Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning” by Emily Bronte.
“The literary arts have always been a figure in the Western landscape, so it’s no surprise that poetry resonates in the Silver State,” Susan Boskoff, Nevada Arts Council executive director, said. “Parents, teachers and principals across this state deserve credit for ensuring a next generation of readers, writers and thinkers.”
Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga spoke at the event about the challenges he faced in school and how he overcame them with arts and literature.
Nearly 3,200 students competed in Nevada this year. As the state champion, Groffman received $1,000; an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.; and $1,000 for her school for the purchase of poetry books and/or other literary programming. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will give a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud national champion.
Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. In Nevada, Poetry Out Loud also is a program of the Nevada Arts Council, presented in partnership with Sierra Arts Foundation, Nevada Alliance for Arts Education and Nevada Department of Education. The major sponsor is NV Energy. 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 gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.
The 53 state champions will compete at the Poetry Out Loud semifinals April 28 at George Washington University. Nine finalists will advance to the finals, set for April 29.
Since the first national Poetry Out Loud contest in 2006, more than 3 million high school students have participated.
The semifinals and finals can be viewed online through a live, one-time-only webcast or can be followed on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEA, #POL15. For more information on the event, webcast or viewing parties, visit arts.gov or call 202-682-5606.
The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. In addition to providing hundreds of grants to arts- and community-based organizations, schools, artist and local municipalities throughout the state, the Nevada Arts Council coordinates a variety of statewide programs and activities such as traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments. For more information, visit the Nevada Arts Council website, nac.nevadaculture.org.
Chris Moran has lived in Reno since 1996, and currently works at the Nevada Division of Tourism as a public relations specialist. She is a former editor and writer at the Reno Gazette-Journal, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her hobbies include skiing, hiking, reading, photography, coffee and coffeehouses, and exploring Nevada. Check out her blog at www.ChrisinNevada.wordpress.com.