Charleston students have big shoes to fill when it comes to the Poetry Out Loud competition, a national poetry competition with finals held in Washington, D.C. April 29-May 1. You see, last year Janae Claxton of First Baptist School in Charleston became the first national champion from South Carolina. Like we said, big shoes.
But, we have no doubt this year's Charleston representatives are up to the task. Charleston poets Charles Stone Hideshi Urashima of First Baptist School of Charleston and Ashley Hall's Millie Welbourn compete in the state competition held at the Richland Main Library in Columbia from 3-5 p.m. on Sat. March 9.
The event is free and open to the public, so cheer on our home team students if you're in the area. The winner of the state finals receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals; the state winner's school receives $500 towards the purchase of poetry materials.
And if one of these Charleston poets is lucky enough to take home the same national title Claxton did last year, they'll be walking away with a $20,000 cash prize.
The S.C. Arts Commission coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to state high schools. This past year about 3,100 S.C. students competed against students in their region to move onto the state finals.
Learn more about the S.C. Arts Commission
and Poetry Out Loud