A National Poetry Recitation Competition for High School Students
Write Out Loud, an organization founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading short stories aloud for a live audience. announced the 2017 winner of the Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals. The Regional finals were held this past Febrary at the San Diego Central Library.
The winner of the Regional Finals and the new San Diego Champion is Signe Laundrup. Laundrum lives in El Cajon and is a senior at Grossmont Middle College High School on the campus of Grossmont College. She will represent San Diego County at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento on March 12 and 13. The winner in Sacramento will advance to the National Finals in Washington D.C. in April.
First Runner-Up is Nicolas Sebastian from Valley Center High School who will step in for Laundrup if she cannot participate for any reason.
Competitors from all schools had a canon of poetry to choose from for their poetry recitation, provided by the Poetry Foundation. Champion, Signe Laundrup recited “I Am” by John Clare and “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. Runner-up, Nicolas Sebastian recited “Dirge in the Woods” by George Meredith and “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson.
Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. It is managed in California by the California Arts Council and is coordinated in San Diego County by Write Out Loud. Participating schools included Grossmont Middle College High School, Valley Center High School, Bay Front Charter High School, Helix Charter High School, Mater Dei Catholic High School and San Diego Virtual School.
Judges for Poetry Out Loud included Charles Harrington Elster, author; Mark Christopher Lawrence, actor; Rob Lutfy, associate artistic director – Cygnet Theatre Company; Paul Maley, actor, playwright, educator; Steve Torres-Roman, teen services librarian – San Diego Central Library; Steven J Warner, actor and filmmaker; Tim West, actor, director and playwright.