2012 Poetry Out Loud National Finals

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Idaho State Champion Emily Hays' poetry recitation is translated into American Sign Language. 

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Semifinalists wait to hear who advances to the finals.

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North Carolina State Champion Jessica Kariisa reacts as she is named a finalist.

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Semifinalists enjoy time off the stage.

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Backstage with nine Poetry Out Loud finalists. 

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Colorado State Champion Samuel Opoku and Pennsylvania State Champion Daphnee McMaster prepare for the big moment.

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The Roll Call of State Champions

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Judges for the National Finals, from L-R: PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown, poets Marilyn Chin and Major Jackson, Prairie Home Companion Host Garrison Keillor, and Poetry Society of America Executive Director Alice Quinn.

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2012 Poetry Out Loud National Champion Kristin Dupard during the Finals.

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An accuracy judge monitors a semifinal round.

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From left to right: Third-place winner MarKaye Hassan (Utah State Champion), National Champion Kristen Dupard (Mississippi State Champion), and second-place winner Claude Mumbere (Vermont State Champion).

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From left to right: NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, National Champion Kristen Dupard (also Mississippi State Champion), and John Barr, President of the Poetry Foundation.