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Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

October 2007 – May 2008
South Carolina High Schools

2008 Poetry Out Loud South Carolina FinalistsFor a third year, the South Carolina Arts Commission partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest" to South Carolina high schools. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance.


Nearly 3,000 South Carolina students in South Carolina participated in classroom and school-wide contests to prepare for one of three regional competitions: Lowcountry, Midlands or Upstate. Three students from each region advanced to the state finals.


South Carolina State Competition

2008 Poetry Out Loud WinnerThis year's Poetry Out Loud South Carolina state champion is A'derrica Roseboro from York Comprehensive High School. She will represent the state at the 2008 National Finals April 29 in Washington, D.C., where a total of $50,000 in scholarship prizes and school stipends at the 2007 National Finals. The runner-up is Ashley Blanchard, a student from Timberland High School in Berkeley County.


Roseboro impressed the judges with her recitation of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise." She also recited "Oh hope! thou soother sweet of human woes" by Charlotte Smith and "Beautiful Black Men" by Nikki Giovanni. She receives $200, a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for her school library, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals. Blanchard receives $100, and her library receives a $200 poetry book stipend.


Other Finalists:
Helene Huber, Ashley Hall, Charleston
Iesha Moultrie, Berkeley High School, Berkeley
Brittany Brown, Lamar High School, Darlington
Nick Jenkins, Fox Creek High School, Edgefield
Kaneisha Payton, Spring Valley High School, Richland
Katrina Leonhart, James F. Byrnes High School, Spartanburg
Amy Li, Riverside High School, Greenville


The state finals were part of a full day of poetry-related events sponsored by USC's South Carolina Poetry Initiative and the South Carolina Arts Commission, March 8 at the Columbia Museum of Art. The S.C. Teacher/Student Conference included poetry workshops, which included optional teacher certification renewal credits, and a reading by special guest poet Affa Weaver.


Collaborating to carry out the 2007-2008 statewide program were the S.C. Literary Arts Partnership, University of South Carolina's S.C. Poetry Initiative, Hub City Writers Project, Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, The Humanities Council SC, The SC Book Festival, and the Florence County Public Library.


For more information:


South Carolina contact:

Please contact Sara June Goldstein, 803-734-8694 for additional information. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state sponsor of Poetry Out Loud.