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Poetry Out Loud: Can MAHS build on its success?

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Morris Area student Mary Hu performing during the Poetry Out Loud national competition last spring in Washington D.C.2 / 2

Morris Area students will again recite and perform poetry on Friday as part of a Poetry Out Loud competition that seems to suit them well.

Morris Area's 2008 winner, Mary Hu, also won the state competition and advanced to the national contest in Washington D.C. last spring.

In 2007, Morris Area's Anika Kildegaard placed second in the state competition.

Poetry Out Loud readings will follow the Friday night public performance of MAHS's One-Act Play, "Lysistrata Interruptae," in the high school auditorium.

Poetry Out Loud became a national program in 2006 after successful pilot programs in Washington D.C. and Chicago.

In 2008, more than 200,000 students participated in Poetry Out Loud competitions.

According to the program, "recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class.

"Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage."

The 2009 National Finals are in Washington, D.C., on April 28.