Poetry Live! competition February 2

February 2, 6:00 p.m., Arts Consortium, 340 E. Oak Ave., Suite 112, Visalia

On Friday, February 2, the Tulare County Poetry Live! competition will be held in downtown Visalia at the Arts Consortium at 340 East Oak Avenue. The public is invited to enjoy live poetry recited by the top students in the county.

Poetry Live! features two events that students can choose to participate in: Poetry Out Loud and Poet’s Own Voice.

Poetry Out Loud is an event for students (grades 6-12) and is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It is the nation’s largest poetry event, enjoyed by nearly 400,000 students annually. Students participating in this event select three pieces from the Poetry Out Loud archive to recite in front of a live audience. Participating schools hold their own competitions in December or early January. They crown their school champion who moves on to the Tulare County Poetry Out Loud event and competes for the county title. This year, three school champions will compete for the opportunity to represent Tulare County at the state championship in March in Sacramento. They are: Alondra Gutierrez of Mission Oak High School (Tulare), Anais Ceballos of Monache High School (Porterville), and Sabrina Castillo of Tulare Union High School.

Twenty students have chosen to participate in Poet’s Own Voice. Nine of them will take part in the “Showcase” portion, having written and submitted five original works. Judges will determine the top piece from each student, as well as rank all pieces to determine the top three poems overall. Additionally, 11 students have chosen to write and perform their own poetry live at the competition on Friday. These students have also written and submitted five original works, but will perform two of them for the judges.  From these performances, judges will select the 2024-25 Tulare County Youth Poet Laureate, who will serve as a poetry ambassador to schools and the community for one year. Schools represented in the Poet’s Own Voice competition are Exeter Union High School, Mission Oak High School, Monache High School, Summit Charter Collegiate Academy (Porterville), and Tulare Union High School.

For more information, contact Paula Terrill at the Tulare County Office of Education at (559) 651-0565 or [email protected].

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