By Meredith Callis, Arts Education Project Coordinator –
Tennessee’s state finals for Poetry Out Loud 2018, the national poetry recitation contest for high school students, will be held for the second time at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 10th. Students will recite classic and contemporary poems of their choice in a competition style similar to that of the National Spelling Bee at CMHFM’s Ford Theatre. Round one will begin at 10:00 am Central Time, followed by round two in the afternoon. The event will conclude with ten students competing in the final round where the winner of that round will be named the Tennessee Poetry Out Loud Champion.
Upon winning the State Finals, the Champion and respective teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in April to compete with students from around the country. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the POL National Champion, a title earned by Anita Norman from Arlington, Tennessee in 2014.
The competition is free and open to the public. The event is educational and offers a wonderful way to listen to incredible works of poetry while cheering on students from all across the state. Currently, Tennessee high schools are memorizing their poems and competing in their classroom and school-wide competitions in preparation for the State Finals. We welcome you to join us as we show our support for all the hard work and dedication these students have put toward memorizing these timeless poems.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 222 5th Ave. South, downtown Nashville, with the Ford Theatre located on the first level of the building, near the lobby. Paid parking is available at the Music City Center, located at 201 5th Ave S. Visit our Poetry Out Loud page or call Meredith Callis at 615-532-5934 for more information.