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University of Montana Western Hosts Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud held its third regional Poetry Out Loud competition today at the University of Montana Western small auditorium. This was the third competition in the four regional events. Fourteen students came to compete in this event, seven from Butte High, five from Capitol High, and two from Sentinel High. Sadly Beaverhead County High School was not represented.

Poetry Out Loud is described as:

"Now in its fifteenth year, the 2019-20 Montana Poetry Out Loud program welcomes the participation of high schools across our state! Created and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud engages students in learning about poetry through the memorized recitations of works by recognized poets, both contemporary and from throughout history. Through their participation students gain public speaking skills while finding their own voice. Beginning in individual classrooms, students have the opportunity to advance to schoolwide contests, regional competitions, the Montana State Finals and—for one Montana student—the National Finals in Washington D.C.  To learn more about the program or to explore the online anthology, visit"

Judges for today's event were Sally Cobau, English teacher for the Youth Challenge and University of Montana Western, Marley May, student at U of M Western, and Professor Alan Weltzien of the English Department. Students would recite from memory a poem of their choosing. They were judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. With this event in Dillon, judges had a difficult decision ahead of them, due to not one of the students stumbling on their poem's lines or needing a prompt to remember the words.

After all was said and done, the three judges had chosen four winners and one alternate.

  • Masie Kroon was awarded the alternate position

  • Jasmine Kunda placed fourth

  • Katy McCumber was awarded third

  • Clara Hahn took home second place

  • Savannah Holm came out in first place

On March 7th Helena will host the State Finals. The winner from the state final will then go on to compete in the National Finals, held in Washington D.C. on April 27-29, 2020.

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