Torie DiMartile, a senior at Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell, emerged as the winner among the 21 high school champions from across the state who competed in the sixth annual Poetry Out Loud state finals on Tuesday in Frankfort. She was the second place winner in 2009 and 2010.
The statewide poetry recitation competition is presented by the Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation as part of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. The program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition, the arts council said in a news release.
As winner, DiMartile will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip for her and a chaperone to Washington D.C. to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the national finals from April 27-29.
Beechwood High School will also receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for its library.
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Tyler Poteet, a senior at Butler Traditional High School in Louisville took second place. He will receive a $100 cash prize and $200 for his school to purchase library books.
DiMartile and Poteet will be invited to recite poems on April 25 at the Kentucky Arts Council's Kentucky Writers' Day celebration in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
"I always liked all kinds of writing, but I never really enjoyed poetry until Poetry Out Loud," DiMartile said in the news release. "When I get on stage, the words seem to come off the page and into the audience and now I love poetry. Poetry Out Loud has also taught me to be a better speaker, a better reader and a better writer."
The Kentucky Arts Council received a state travel grant from the Mid Atlantic
Arts Foundation to increase outreach this year, which allowed competing students and their school supporters to travel from cities as far away as Paducah and Pineville.