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CATA Senior Finishes Second in Poetry Out Loud State Finals

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, Runner-Up CATA Senior Alisha Hartley, and NC Poetry Out Loud winner Casey Goggin (Photo courtesy of NC Arts Council)

CATA senior Alisha Hartley advanced to the final round and finished second in The North Carolina Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud State Final Competition on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at The Greensboro Public Library.

This competition was held in collaboration with The National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and The Greensboro Public Library.

Alisha represented Union County Public Schools reciting “The Blues Don’t Change,” by Al Young and “Invitation to Love,” by Paul Laurence Dunbar in rounds 1-3. For the fourth round of the top five students, she recited “The Gift,” by Li-Young Lee.

Alisha’s participation at the state level followed her winning performance for the UCPS District title on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at Central Academy of Technology & Arts.

Over 9,000 students across North Carolina competed at the classroom, school, and district levels before sending 34 students to the State Competition. Alisha receives a cash prize of $100 and $200 for her school to purchase poetry resources. In addition, the top five finalists also met and received a copy of NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti’s book of poetry.  


From the NC Arts Council Website:

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into high school classrooms.

Through the program, students can master public speaking skills, increase reading comprehension scores, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. In six years, Poetry Out Loud has inspired thousands of high school students to discover and develop deep, personal relationships with great classic and contemporary poetry.

The N.C. Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Greensboro Public Library, invites N.C. students to participate in the program to gain a deeper appreciation of great poetry through memorization and recitation.

The program starts in the classroom, broadens to the state level and culminates at the national finals in Washington, D.C.


Written by: Cheryl Nelson, UCPS HS English Curriculum Coordinator
Posted: Mar 18, 2014 by Deb Christensen

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