Pinecrest Student Competes in Raleigh
In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, the North Carolina Arts Council will feature poetry recitations by students statewide on its Web site, www.ncarts.org.
The student participants, representing 19 school districts, were winners of the statewide "Poetry Out Loud" competition, held in Raleigh last month. One student video will be featured each day during the month of April.
Courtney Dean, a sophomore at Pinecrest High School, represented Moore County in the statewide poetry recitation program. Her video will be on the Web site Monday, April 9.
Dean says the contest has sharpened her public speaking skills.
"'Poetry Out Loud' has opened my mind to different forms of literature and a new world of ideas," she says. "While performing on stage, I feel a whirlwind of emotions, but it is an accelerating feeling. I have a very bad case of stage fright, but when I get up and recite poetry, I honestly forget that I am speaking in front of unfamiliar faces."
For the semifinals competition, Dean recited "In the Basement of the Goodwill Store" by Ted Kooser, "Snow Day" by Billy Collins and "Ovation" by Carol Muske-Duskes.
"Pinecrest High School sophomore Courtney Dean's sensitive performance of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins' 'Snow Day' brought the thrill of hearing a Collins poem with which I was not familiar," says Kay Byer, North Carolina's Poet Laureate.
Aimee Isbell, an 18-year-old from Mooresville City Schools, was chosen to represent North Carolina at the national competition April 29-May 1 in Washington, D.C. She will compete for a $20,000 scholarship.
"Across the state students have surprised themselves by finding through the recitation of poetry their own voices, regardless of the century in which the poems were written," Byer says. "This is how poetry began and how it still begins, with each new reader, each new voice that carries it into the world around us."
"Poetry Out Loud" is a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, with funding from the Poetry Foundation.
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