A magnolia blooms to the top

Kristen Dupard. Photo by James Kegley

High school senior Kristen Dupard from Ridgeland, Mississippi, has won the 2012 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. “My favorite poem is ‘What Work Is’ by Philip Levine,” said Dupard. “It is especially relevant since so many people have worked hard to get here to the National Finals. I love this program and all the people involved; this is such a blessing.”

     Out of 365,000 students, Dupard was among nine finalists and 53 state champions who competed in the seventh annual national poetry recitation contest for high school students at the Harman Center for the Arts. With this achievement, Dupard receives a $20,000 award and her high school, Ridgeland High School, will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The nation’s State Arts Agencies played a pivotal role in implementing Poetry Out Loud at more than 2,000 high schools nationwide.

L-R are: MarKaye Hassan, 3rd place, Kristen Dupard, National Champion, and Claude Mumbere, 2nd place. Photo by James Kegley.

     The second-place winner was Claude Mumbere of Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, who received a $10,000 award. The Utah State Champion, MarKaye Hassan of Logan High School in Logan, Utah, received the third-place prize and a $5,000 award. Each of the nine finalists received at least a $1,000 award, and their schools received $500 each for the purchase of poetry books.

     The other six finalists were: Samuel Opoku, Northglenn, Colorado, Gwen Morrison, Marshalltown, Iowa, Russell Heitmann, Hebron, Nebraska, Jessica Kariisa, Raleigh, North Carolina, Daphnee R. McMaster, Reading, Pennsylvania and Langston Ward of Spokane, Washington.

     Host of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac Garrison Keillor, poets Marilyn Chin and Major Jackson, senior correspondent and regular co-anchor of PBS NewsHour Jeffrey Brown and Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America Alice Quinn were the guest judges for the National Finals. For a full list of all 53 champions can be found at www.poetryoutloud.org.

Published by on May 2012. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Bugle Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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