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ARVADA-CLEARMONT — For the fourth consecutive year, Sara Ellingrod of Arvada-Clearmont School has captured the Poetry Out Loud first-place title.
Ellingrod vied with 11 other high school competitors from across the state in the memorization and recitation competition. The runner-up was Rebecca Dulaney from Sundance Secondary.
Ellingrod and Dulaney’s selections included “The Pomegranate and the Big Crowd” by Alberto Rios, as well as “A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest” and the “Road Unknown” by Walt Whitman, regarded as one of America’s most significant 19th century poets. Additional selections included “Hysteria” by Dionisio D. Martinez and “Memory as a Hearing Aid” by contemporary American poet Tony Hoagland.
The 2014 Wyoming Poetry Out Loud state competition and awards ceremony took place March 10-11 in Cheyenne. Judges for this year’s event were Adrian Molina, Echo Roy Klaproth, Chris Propst and Kelly Madigan.
This year’s student contestants came from Sundance, Fort Washakie, Shoshoni, Buffalo, Kaycee, Cheyenne, Casper, Hanna, Riverton, Clearmont, Green River and Jackson.
First Lady Carol Mead presented the participation and award certificates. Ellingrod will receive $200 and Dulaney will receive $100. Both also earned a cash prize for their respective schools to purchase poetry books for the library.
Ellingrod and her chaperone will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the national finals in Washington, D.C., April 29-30. At the national finals, state winners compete for $50,000 scholarships and school stipends with a $25,000 scholarship award going to the national champion.
Poetry Out Loud is a memorization and recitation competition for ninth- through 12th-grade students. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the program is administered by the Wyoming Arts Council.
The Wyoming Arts Council provides leadership and invests resources to sustain, promote and cultivate excellence in the arts.