VICA Announces Poetry Out Loud Territorial Finals; Winner to Compete Nationally

Speak into the microphone.

Virgin Islands Council on the Arts has announced the Territorial Finals for Poetry Out Loud™. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

On March 14, 12 high school students will participate in Poetry Out Loud finals at the Charles W. Turnbull Regional Library on St. Thomas. The 12 represented schools are Charlotte Amalie High School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School, St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School, Free Will Baptist Christian School, Tutu Church of God Academy, All Saints Cathedral School, Good Hope Country Day School, St. Croix Educational Complex High School, St. Croix Central High School, VI Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy and Antilles School.

Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom with winners advancing to a school-wide competition, then to the state/territorial competition, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington D.C.

At the Virgin Islands Finals, contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials that teachers may use in their classrooms, including an online poetry anthology, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters and video and audio on the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these resources at Since the program began in 2005, more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

Khalarni Rivers will host the Virgin Islands Poetry Out Loud Finals. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the territorial finals, contact 774-5984 or visit

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Virgin Islands Finals will receive $700, and the winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up will receive $400, with $200 for his or her school library. The territorial champion of the Poetry Out Loud V.I. finals will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to compete in the National Finals in Washington, D.C., on April 28 and 29. The Poetry Out Loud National finals will present a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.