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Calhoun Writers Conference with Billy Collins
Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud


Poetry Out Loud (POL) was piloted ten years ago when National Endowment for the Arts chair, Dana Giola, partnered with the Poetry Foundation to design a program that would bring the love of poetry as it was meant to be, in oral form, back into the lives and curriculum of high school students across the nation. HLA has worked with POL for many years with HLA member Dr. Rose Norman coordinating the first Region Five competition.

This year's POL Region 5 Competition was held at UAH on November 8, 2016. Dr. Alanna Frost, Chair of the UAH English Department presented medals to all Region 5 Participants. In addition, several HLA members participated as Judges including Carol Ashburn Roach, prompter; Leslie Thomas Collins, Original Poetry Judge; and Jessica Temple and Margaret Vann, poetry Anthology Recitation Judges.

Winners of the Original Poetry competition go to the state contest held at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery as do the winners of the Anthology Competition. However, the national contest in Washington, D. C. involves only the Anthology Competition.

The winners of the POL Region 5 Competition are:

Anthology Competition:

  • 1st Place: Raina Verser, New Century Technology High School

  • 2nd Place: Maggie Stewart, Good Hope High School

  • 3rd Place: Iman Godalla, Bob Jones High School

  • 4th Place: Nina Bucknor, Oakwood Adventist Academy

  • 5th Place: Matthew Bao, James Clemens High School

Original Poetry:

  • 1st Place: Remi Heitzam, James Clemens High School

  • 2nd Place: Maggie Stewart, Good Hope High School

  • 3rd Place: Abi Kunkle, Sparkman High School

  • 4th Place: Preston Adams, Bob Jones High School

  • 5th Place: Mekiah Hall, New Century Technology High School

As first place winners in their categories, Raina and Remi each received $100 from the Huntsville Literary Association.

On Monday, February 15, 2016, winners from last year's regional contests went to Montgomery for the State Contest.

The first place winner in the State Contest in Anthology Recitation was Raina Verser, with Maggie Stewart in second place. Anna Presnall of Holy Spirit High School won Honorable Mention.

The State Contest first place winner in Original Poetry was Abigail Kunkle from Sparkman High School; second place winner was Kaitlyn McClung of New Century, and third place winner was Mekiah Hall.

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