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Boyd County sophomore wins state Poetry Out Loud competition, now goes to D.C.

Boyd County High School student Gabby Thompson won the right to travel to Washington, D.C., in April to represent Kentucky in the National Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest by winning the state competition March 12.

Winner Gabby Thompson (left) and runner-up Cheyenne Carter (Photo from ky.gov)

Thompson, a sophomore, was one of 17 high school champions from across Kentucky who competed for the Poetry Out Loud state title. The program, administered by the Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
“I’d like to congratulate Gabby and all of our school champions who competed today at the Poetry Out Loud state finals,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “Each of our competitors demonstrated their commitment to the program’s purpose and to great poetry. Their peers and schools should be proud of their accomplishments.”
All 17 competitors recited two poems each from memory. The group was then narrowed to five finalists. Besides Thompson, finalists were Cheyenne Carter, Western Hills High School; Celeste Shearer, Hart County High School; Haley Sullivan, East Ridge High School; and Miranda Webb, Pikeville High School.
Carter, a junior, was the second-place winner. She will receive a $100 cash prize and $200 for her school to purchase library books.
As winner of the state finals, Thompson will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with her chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete with other state champions in the national finals April 28-30. Boyd County High School will also receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for its library. The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest will award $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes to winners and top finalists.
Judges for the competition were former Kentucky poet laureate Richard Taylor and Kentucky writers Normandi Ellis and Bianca Spriggs.
From ky.gov

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