Check out the Poetry Out Loud website hosted by the Poetry Foundation. Here's what's going on:
"From Fairbanks, Alaska, to Knoxville, Tennessee, 53 students from across the country will converge on Washington, DC on April 28-29, 2011 to compete in the National Finals of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, the nation's largest youth poetry recitation competition. These young competitors advanced from a field of more than 365,000 students who tested their skills in poetry recitation in more than 2,000 schools nationwide. The top finalists and their schools will receive $50,000 in awards."
On this website, they'll be posting videos of the top three winners reciting their poems. I've had the opportunity to judge and to serve as master of ceremonies when the regional competition has been held at Southwest Minnesota State University. I've been amazed at the talented students who memorized and recited poems by heart.
Do you know poems by heart? If so, which ones? Your own? Other poets?
I love to play with words. To capture moments on the page. To explore the physical and spiritual geography of what I call "fly-over country." I write from imagination, observation and my own experience of wandering in fly-over country--the literal, physical spaces of my life on the Minnesota prairie and the inner territory of the soul.
I teach writing and serve as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. I enjoy cooking and traveling with my husband Jim, reading, practicing yoga, playing tennis, biking, hiking and gardening.