ILLINOIS -- Illinois’ 2009-2010 Poetry Out Loud State Finals took place on Thursday, March 18th, in Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce that Annette Putnam has been named State Champion. Putnam is a senior at Orion High School, located in Henry County. She recited "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning, "Doña Josefina Counsels Doña Concepcíon Before Entering Sears" by Maurice Kilwein Guevara, and "What For" by Garrett Hongo. Carbondale Community High School senior Robert Ketter won runner-up, reciting "A Red, Red, Rose" by Robert Burns, "Advice to a Prophet" by Richard Wilbur, and "I Knew a Woman" by Theodore Roethke.
Nearly 5,000 students from 47 Illinois high schools participated in this year’s Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a free program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. The Illinois Arts Council implements Poetry Out Loud statewide in collaboration with seven regional partners.
Poetry Out Loud State Champions receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national championship in April. The state champion’s school also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books, and the runner-up receives $100, with $200 for his school library. Additionally, a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded to the winners at the National Finals.
The Illinois Arts Council also congratulates all of our great state’s regional contest winners:
• Dana Castillo, Maine East High School in Park Ridge (Final Round)
• Sam Chao, Niles West High School in Skokie (Final Round)
• Bruno Steven Paixao, William Howard Taft High School in Chicago (Final Round)
• Brittny Holt, Alton High School
• Carolyn Muller, Champaign Central High School
• Sonya M. Larrimore, Clay City High School
• Carter Cain, Edwardsville High School
• Shannon Gambon, Orion High School
• Ashlynn Snyder, Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School in Paxton
• Jonah Antosch and Brendon Crave, Spectrum High School in Rockford
• David Michael Jones and Jamal Sims, Springfield Southeast High School
• Dominique James, Walter Payton College Prep High School in Chicago
Learn more about Poetry Out Loud at www.poetryoutloud.org.