Two American Canyon High School students, yet to be determined, will join students from five other Napa County high schools for this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition, Feb. 12., 6-8 p.m., at the Napa Valley Playhouse.

The contest, presented by Napa Valley Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

The winner of the competition will advance to the State Poetry Out Loud finals in Sacrament. The California champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

The other participating schools are Vintage High, Napa High, New Technology High,  St. Helena High, and Justin Sienna High.

Last year, two New Technology High School students, senior Riley Miner and senior Pookie McGlothern, received a $500 and a $300 college scholarship for finishing first and second respectively.

The judges for the competition will be: Michael Ross, Napa Valley Playhouse director; Dr. Cynthia Westerbeck, Professor of English, Pacific Union College; David Stevens, UC Davis Extension faculty, author and International wine competition judge; and Stephen Sossaman, writer, speaker, teacher, Professor Emeritus of English in creative writing and literature on the faculty of Westfield State University in Massachusetts.

Barry Martin, Actor and director Lucky Penny Productions, will be the master of ceremonies, and Leonore Wilson, Napa County Poet Laureate, will recite.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Napa Valley Playhouse is located in River Park Shopping Center, 1637 Imola Avenue, Napa, behind the Golden Carrot health food store.

For further information contact Jill Durfee  jilldurfee@sbcglobal.net; 707 227-9997.

The national competion began in 2006. Arts Council Napa Valley began sponsoring Poetry Out Loud for county schools in 2011.

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