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Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

October 2009 – May 2010
South Carolina High Schools

visit the national Poetry Out Loud Web site

Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina

For a fifth year, the South Carolina Arts Commission has 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.


Statewide Competition

2009-2010 SC State POL Champion Lauren DiNicolaLauren DiNicola (left), a student at Charleston County School of the Arts, is the state champion of South Carolina's Poetry Out Loud Contest.


DiNicola received $200 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the April 2010 national finals. Her high school library also received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.


A total of $50,000 in scholarship prizes and school stipends were awarded at the POL national finals, where Rhode Island’s Amber Rose Johnson took home the $20,000 grand prize.


Shannon Laribo, a student at Ashley Hall Creative School for the Arts, was the 2009-2010 runner-up. She received $100. Her library received a $200 poetry book stipend.


DiNicola and Laribo were two of 10 finalists from each state region—Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry—who competed at the Columbia Museum of Art during state finals on March 20. The remaining 2009-2010 state finalists were:

Lowcountry Region

  • McLennan Janes, Waccamaw High School, Georgetown Co.


Midlands Region
  • Christy Altman, Pathways for Scholars, Horry Co.
  • Kylie Eschliman, Irmo High School, Lexington Co.
  • Teilor Kynnedi McManus, Strom Thurmond High School, Edgefield Co.
  • Kaneisha Payton, Spring Valley High School, Richland Co.


Upstate Region
  • David Michael Bryant, Indian Land High School, Lancaster Co.
  • Michaela DeBrule, Andrew Jackson High School, Lancaster Co.
  • Taylor Morton, Pendleton High School, Anderson Co.


Contest structure

Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level, with winners from each classroom advancing to a school-wide competition and then to regional competitions. Regional winners advance to South Carolina's state finals. Ultimately, one student from each state competes in the national finals in Washington, D.C.



Collaborating with the Arts Commission to carry out this year's statewide program are The Literary Arts Partnership, The Humanities Council SC, Hub City Writers Project, Columbia Museum of Art, Sumter County Cultural Commission , Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts and Marjory Wentworth, a former S.C. state poet laureate.


For more information: