Art Works Blog

Countdown to POL . . .

April 19, 2010
Washington, DC

Alanna Rivera was one of only a handful of underclassmen to make it to the 2007 Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Photo by James Kegley.

"Reciting a poem is like a jazz solo: you're allowed to play your heart out, but you have to respect what the composer was feeling when he gave you those twelve or sixteen bars." ---Alanna Rivera

Just three years ago, Alanna Rivera, then a sophomore at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, was one of the more than 50 state champions getting ready to compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Her surefooted recitations won the Virginia state champ a spot in the finals round, and ultimately she placed third in the national competition. From the archives, here is our interview with Alanna about her Poetry Out Loud experience.

In just a week from today, 53 more young people from across the United States will converge at Lisner Auditorium on the George Washington University campus here in Washington, DC, to go head-to-head in the 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Finals. These 53 talented teens have competed against hundreds of their peers in local competitions to take top honors in their states, reciting poems by Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Vachel Lindsay, and Rhina P. Espaillat, to name a few.  We've got lots more on Poetry Out Loud coming on the Art Works blog (and also via @NEAarts on Twitter) to get you ready for this year's finals event. Want to know how you can attend? Learn more in the News Room.

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