Monday, March 7, 2011


Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, in cooperation with the Kansas Association of Teachers of English, present the annual Kansas Poetry Out Loud State Competition at 7:00 pm, on Friday, March 11, 2011, at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka (515 SE Monroe St.).

Finalists for the competition are:
  • Kari Bingham, senior at Smoky Valley High School, Smoky Valley
  • Susan Elder, junior at Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, Wichita
  • Casha Mills, junior at Shawnee Mission North High School and the 2010 Kansas Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Overland Park
  • Addie Johnson, junior at Quinter High School, Quinter
  • Devany West, 9th grader at Southwest Junior High School, Lawrence
  • Allison Williams, senior at Ottawa High School, Ottawa
The state champion receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals on April 25 and 26, in Washington, D.C., to compete for a $20,000 scholarship. In addition, the state champion’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up receives a cash donation to his or her school library.

The Poetry Out Loud program encourages Kansas high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. The contest begins in the classroom where students select three poems from to recite and compete for a spot at the regional competition.

For questions, contact Margaret Weisbrod Morris, KAC program manager of arts in education, at, or 785/368-6545.

The Kansas Arts Commission is a state agency, funded by the State of Kansas and the National Endowment for the Arts, dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Kansas. Its mission is to provide opportunities for the people of Kansas to experience, celebrate and value the arts throughout their lives. For more information on the Kansas Arts Commission, please visit the KAC website at

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