ArtsPath Hosting Regional Poetry Recitation Competition

Posted on 2/5/2015 10:52:05 AM

DJ GressArtsPath, the arts-in-education program of the College of Fine Arts and the Lively Arts at IUP, will host one of 13 regional Poetry Out Loud competitions held in Pennsylvania that will determine who will represent each region at the state POL competition in March 2015 at the Forum in Harrisburg.

The ArtsPath regional competition takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 9, in the upper lobby of the Performing Arts Center. The public is invited, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be served following the recitations when the winner will be announced.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, this national recitation competition begins at the classroom level and pyramids through school, regional, and state levels, ending with a national-level competition of state champions that is held in Washington, D.C. It encourages high school-age students to learn about significant works of poetry through memorization and adjudicated performance.

The champions representing their schools in the ArtsPath region this year are Katherine Bradshaw from Indiana Area Senior High School, William Gardner from the Kiski School, and Jamie Houston from DuBois Area High School.

Each will recite from memory three poems that satisfy the criteria of one being pre-20th century and one being 25 lines or less. Their recitations this year include poems by A.E. Stallings, Richard Hugo, James L. Dickey, Mary Karr, and Charles Lamb, as well as several others.

Judges for the competition include Patrick Bizzaro, professor of English in IUP’s doctoral program in Composition and TESOL and published author; Rob Gretta, assistant professor in the Department of Theater and Dance and director of Musical Theater; Helen Taylor, Instruction and Outreach librarian at the Indiana Free Library and published writer; Daniel Weinstein, assistant professor of English at IUP and pioneer in the use of computer technology for teaching writing remotely; Michael T. Williamson, associate professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who lists poetry, global literature, and literary history and theory as a few of many academic interests; and Kim Young, a reference librarian at the Indiana Free Library who has been a magazine editor as well as a published freelance writer of articles and stories.

The evening will also feature music on string bass by senior education major Nick Adams, also an active performer in the region.

For more information, please contact Jeff Wacker at, or call the Lively Arts at 724-357-2787 (ARTS).

ArtsPath has been providing arts-in-education services since 2001 to over 3,000 students annually in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the Governor’s Office. Its mission is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania  and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.

Pictured above is the 2012 ArtsPath regional champion from the Kiski School, DJ Gress, who went on to become state champion, the second ArtsPath champion to reach that level.