Poetry Out Loud


>>I JUST RECEIVED A LETTER FROM A STUDENT WHO THANKED ME FOR INSTILLING THE LOVE OF LEARNING, THAT’S WHY I TEACH.>>BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE VIRGINIA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION BECAUSE A GOOD EDUCATION IS GOOD FOR EVERYBODY.>>AND BY THE VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS, A STATE AGENCY THAT SUPPORTS THE ARTS BY DISTRIBUTING GRANT FUNDING FOR NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, EDUCATORS, ARTISTS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. ♪ ♪>>JUST BEING, ONE, TWO, THREE.>>ONE, TWO, THREE, TESTING.>>AND THE WINNER WILL ADVANCE TO THE STATE FINALS.>>REBUILT THE CITY’S CITY.>>AND SHAKES THE WINDOWS UP AND DOWN THE BLOCK. [APPLAUSE] ♪ ♪ BANG.>>POETRY OUTLOUD LET’S YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERSTAND POETRY AND THEN PERFORM IT.>>BEHIND A WALL.>>FLUTTERED –>>THE BEST PART ARE MYSTERY AND CLARITY.>>POETRY IS MUSIC AND WORDS. NOT ONLY UNDERSTAND THE POEM BUT UNDERSTAND HOW TO CONVEY IT PHYSICALLY.>>WHEN I WANT TO ADD INFLEXION AND PASSION INTO IT, THAT’S WHEN I START RECITING IN FRONT OF A MIRROR.>>AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCE SHOES IS A LOT LIKE THE SAND.>> I WOULD BOUNCE TENNIS BALLS WHILE RECITING THE POEM TO SEE WHERE I WANTED THE BEAT.>>THIS HAS BEEN PART OF MY LIFE FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.>>WHEN I’M NOT DOING POETRY.>>HOW DID YOU PRACTICE?>>I DID IT UNTIL MY EARS FELL OFF AND MY FAMILY’S EARS FELL OFF.>>WHAT WAS THE QUESTION?>>I PRACTICED IN FRONT OF MY TEACHERS AND IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR.>>MOSTLY IN FRONT OF MYING DOG.>>TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM POETRY YOU NEED TO PRACTICE IT.>>WHEN DID MY COLD REMOVE.>>STAND UP FOR WHAT THEY WANT AND STAND UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN.>>WE’VE SEEN A WILD VARIETY IN TERMS OF SUBJECTS, IN TERMS OF TONE, IN TERMS OF TIME PERIODS.>>HOW YOU SAY WITHOUT STICKING AND NOT GETTING STUCK.>>STAR FOLLOWED STAR THROUGH BOUNDS.>>AND EXPIRES IN THE INTENSITY OF ITS ODE TO FIRE.>>POETRY IS AN EQUATION TO BE SOLVED.>>HERE DOWN AND SHINE.>>THAT I MAY RISE AND STAND AND BANDS ARE FORCED TO BREAK, BLOW, BURN.>>CREATIVITY IS A KEY SKILL BUT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE.>>THERE ARE LAWS UNIQUE.>>PREPARATION. TREE. SURROUNDINGS.>>WHERE IGNORANCE –>>IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. [APPLAUSE]>>WELCOME TO THE POETRY OUT LOUD STATE FINALS. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING. I’M DAPHNE MAXWELL REID, YOUR HOST FOR TODAY’S EVENT. SO I’LL GIVE YOU A LITTLE BACKGROUND FOR THE PROGRAM. POETRY OUT LOUD IS A NATIONAL RECITATION PROGRAM SPONSORED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS AND THE POETRY FOUNDATION, IMMERSING HIGH SCHOOLS STUDENTS IN THE POWERFUL LANGUAGE OF POETRY. POETRY OUT LOUD PROVIDES STUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MASTER PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS, TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE, AND LEARN ABOUT THEIR LITERARY HERITAGE THROUGH CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY WORKS OF POETRY. EACH OF TODAY’S ELEVEN CONTESTANTS STARTED AT THE CLASSROOM LEVEL AND COMPETED AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL TO ADVANCE TO THE REGIONAL COMPETITION. THE TWO HIGHEST SCORING STUDENTS FROM EACH REGION WERE INVITED TO COMPETE AT THE STATE LEVEL. THE CHAMPION OF TODAY’S STATE FINAL WILL RECEIVE $200 AND AN ALL-EXPENSE PAID TRIP WITH AN ADULT CHAPERONE TO WASHINGTON, DC TO COMPETE IN THE NATIONAL FINALS ON APRIL 28 & 29 AT THE LISNER AUDITORIUM ON THE CAMPUS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. THE STATE CHAMPION WILL ALSO RECEIVE $500 FOR THE PURCHASE OF POETRY BOOKS FOR HIS/HER SCHOOL. THE FIRST RUNNER-UP WILL RECEIVE $100 AND A $200 STIPEND FOR HIS/HER SCHOOL LIBRARY. NOW I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MARGARET VANDERHYE, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS, WHICH HELPED MAKE ALL THIS POSSIBLE. MARGIE?>>THANK YOU. GOOD AFTERNOON TO ALL OF YOU AND ON BEHALF OF THE VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS, WELCOME TO NOT ONLY THE STATE COMPETITION FOR VIRGINIA BUT THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THIS POETRY OUTLOUD COMPETITION NATIONALLY. WE ARE SO PLEASED TO PARTNER WITH THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS AND WITH THE NATIONAL POETRY OUTLOUD AND TO SHOW CASE THE TALENTS OF SO MANY OF OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. WE ARE ALSO VERY PLEASED TO BE WITH THE WCVE TELEVISION STATIONS AND WITH THE VIRGINIA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THEM HAS ALLOWED US TO BE HERE TODAY AND WILL ALLOW US TO PRODUCE WITH THEIR GENEROCITY AND THEIR PROFESSIONAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WHAT ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS SO THAT WE CAN SHOW CASE OUR POETRY OUT LOUD PROGRAM THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. I’D LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE TWO OF MY COMMISSIONER FROM DIFFERENT PARTS, SHARON KITCHEN MILLER, OUR VICE CHAIR AND SHELLY KRUGER OUR CHAIR FROM WILLIAMSBURG. WE HOPE TO HAVE DELEGATE BETSY CARR A GREAT SUPPORTER OF THE ARTS WHO REPRESENTS THE 59TH DISTRICT AND SHE HAS BEEN A WONDERFUL ADVOCATE AND SUPPORTER FOR THIS PROGRAM BUT THE OTHER PROGRAMS WE DO. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING, FOR YOUR SUPPORT TO YOUR STUDENT AND FOR THIS PROGRAM, THROUGH BPA, THROUGH ALL OUR PARTNERS. I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A WORD TO OUR COMPETITORS TODAY BECAUSE WE ALL LIVE OUR DAILY LIVES FOR THE MOST PART IN PROSE. WE COMMUNICATE IN OUR MUNDANE WAY HOPING THAT MAYBE WHAT WE SAY GETS THROUGH AND HOPING THAT SOME OF WHAT WE SAY GETS LISTENED TO WITHOUT REALLY KNOWING WHETHER THAT’S TRUE OR NOT. BUT YOU INVITE US WITH YOUR POETRY TO COMMUNICATE AND TO CONNECT IN A MORE COMPLEX AND MEANINGFUL LEVEL. YOU INVITE US TO THINK INTENSELY AND PURPOSEFULLY ABOUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN A WAY THAT I WOULD SAY LISTENING IS A SKILL THAT IS VERY MUCH OVERLOOKED AND UNDER APPRECIATED TODAY. SO AS YOU COMPETE TODAY, I INVITE YOU TO CONNECT WITH US THE WAY YOU HAVE CONNECTED WITH THE POET AND THE POETS YOU FEEL PASSIONATELY ABOUT. INVITE US HOW WE COMMUNICATE AT DIFFERENT LEVELS, ASK US TO LISTEN WITH INTENT AND PURPOSE ACROSS GENERATIONS AND CULTURES AND COUNTRIES AND CIRCUMSTANCE. SO THAT TOGETHER WE UNDERSTAND BETTER WHO WE ARE, THAT WE GET MUCH MORE OF A SHARED HUMANITY. I’VE BEEN WHERE YOU ARE, USE THAT ENERGY AND ADRENALINE AND FOCUS TO CONNECT US ALL. I WISH YOU ALL LUCK AND FOR ALL OF US I WISH REVELATION. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GOOD LUCK TODAY. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU. NOW DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY. THERE ARE THREE ROUNDS TO TODAY’S COMPETITION. EACH STUDENT WILL RECITE HIS/HER POEM IN THE RECITATION ORDER AS THEY ARE LISTED IN THE PROGRAM FOR THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. THREE STUDENTS WILL ADVANCE TO ROUND THREE AND THE TWO OVERALL HIGHEST SCORING RECITATIONS WILL BE VIRGINIA STATE CHAMPION AND RUNNER-UP. STUDENTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY ME AND WILL APPROACH THE MICROPHONE. EACH STUDENT WILL IDENTIFY THEIR POEM AND AUTHOR BEFORE BEGINNING THEIR RECITATION. IF, AT ANY POINT DURING THE RECITATION, A STUDENT LOSES HIS/HER PLACE THEY MAY REQUEST ASSISTANCE FROM THE PROMPTOR BY MAKING EYE CONTACT, OR SIGNALING FOR ASSISTANCE. NOW THE JUDGES FOR TODAY’S EVENT. WE ARE APPRECIATIVE OF THE EXPERTISE AND DIVERSITY OF OUR JUDGES WITH US HERE TODAY. THREE OF OUR JUDGES WILL ASSESS STUDENTS ON THEIR PHYSICAL PRESENCE, VOICE AND ARTICULATION, DRAMATIC APPROPRIATENESS, LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY, EVIDENCE OF UNDERSTANDING AND THEIR OVERALL PERFORMANCE. ONE JUDGE, NUMBER 4, SERVES AS ACCURACY JUDGE, SHE WILL BE IDENTIFYING ANY INCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN THE WRITTEN TEXT AND THE SPOKEN WORD. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE TIME BRIEFLY TO INTRODUCE ALL OF OUR JUDGES. FIRST WE HAVE TRACY FAIR ROBERTSON, TRACY ROBERTSON OVERSEES K-12 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS INSTRUCTION IN HER ROLE AS THE K-12 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS COORDINATOR FOR THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. SHE HAS MORE THAN 35 YEARS OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND HOLDS LEADERSHIP ROLES IN STATE AND NATIONAL ENGLISH EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING BEING PAST PRESIDENT FOR THE ASSEMBLY OF STATE COORDINATORS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS (ASCELA) AND SERVING ON THE BOARD FOR THE VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH. WELCOME. NEXT WE HAVE SHARA LESSLEY. WHO IS THAT? THERE YOU ARE. SHARA IS THE AUTHOR OF TWO-HEADED NIGHTINGALE, SHE IS ALSO A FORMER WALLACE STEGNER FELLOW IN POETRY AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY. SHARA HAS EARNED NUMEROUS ACADEMIC POETRY AWARDS WHILE HER POEMS AND ESSAYS HAVE APPEARED IN PLOUGHSHARES, THE KENYON REVIEW, THREEPENNY REVIEW, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, AND NEW ENGLAND REVIEW, AMONG OTHERS. SHARA WAS THE INAUGURAL ANN SPENCER POET-IN-RESIDENCE AT RANDOLPH COLLEGE AND WAS RECENTLY AWARDED A 2015 CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIP FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. CONGRATULATIONS. NEXT WE HAVE REBECCA ELIZABETH JONES. THERE YOU ARE. REBECCA JONES IS A LOCAL PLAYWRIGHT AND LYRICIST. HER MUSICAL ABOUT ONLINE DATING, HEARTS ONLINE, HAD SOLD-OUT WORKSHOP PRODUCTIONS AT THE FIREHOUSE THEATRE PROJECT IN 2011 AND 2012. MOST RECENTLY, SHE SERVED AS LYRICIST ON THE MUSICAL WRITERS WEEKEND, WHICH HAD A WORKSHOP PRODUCTION PRODUCED BY 5TH WALL THEATRE LAST FALL. IN 1998, SHE WAS FIRST PLACE WINNER IN RICHMOND MAGAZINE’S INAUGURAL POETRY COMPETITION. SHE WORKS IN MARKETING FOR THE VCU SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND IS CURRENTLY COMPLETING HER M.A. IN ENGLISH. WELCOME. ANNE BUSHMAN. ANNE RECEIVED A BFA IN PAINTING AND PRINTMAKING FROM VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY IN 2005, AND AN MFA IN VISUAL ARTS FROM THE MASON GROSS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AT RUTGERS IN 2011. SHE HAS DESIGNED AND TAUGHT FINE ART CURRICULUM TO STUDENTS FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH COLLEGE, IN BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL SETTINGS. SHE ALSO HAS TRAINING IN COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT AND BOOK AND PAPER CONSERVATION NOW THE ALTERNATE JUDGE IS JANET STARKE. JANET HAS SERVED AS DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION FOR RICHMOND CENTERSTAGE SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 2009. FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS, SHE HAS ADMINISTERED ARTISTIC AND ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMMING AT PERFORMING ARTS CENTERS, PUBLIC TELEVISION AND ARTS EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS IN CHARLOTTE, CINCINNATI, MEMPHIS AND NASHVILLE. A NATIVE OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, SHE HOLDS DEGREES IN ARTS ADMINISTRATION FROM SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI. SO, LET’S BEGIN ROUND 1 OF OUR POETRY OUT LOUD RECITATION. OUR FIRST PERSON IS JESSIE URGO, PLEASE COME TO THE STAGE.>>ZACUANPAPALOTLS BY BRENDA CÁRDENAS (IN MEMORY OF JOSÉ ANTONIO BURCIAGA, 1947-1996) WE ARE CHAMELEONS. WE BECOME CHAMELEON. JOSÉ ANTONIO BURCIAGA WE ARE SPACE BETWEEN━ THE BLACK-ORANGE BLUR OF A MILLION MONARCHS ON THEIR TWO-GENERATION MIGRATION SOUTH TO FIR-CROWNED MICHOACÁN WHERE TREE TRUNKS WILL SPROUT FEATHERS A FOREST OF PAPER-THIN WINGS. OUR MEXICA COCOONED IN THE MEMBRANES DE LA MADRE TIERRA SAY WE ARE REBORN ZACUANPAPALOTLS MARIPOSAS NEGRAS Y ANARANJADAS IN WHOSE SWEEP THE DEAD WHISPER. WE ARE BETWEEN━ THE FLICKER OF A CHAMELEON’S TAIL THAT TURNS HIS DESERT-BLUE BACKBONE TO JADE OR PINK SAND THE SNAKE-SKINNED FRATERNAL TWINS OF SOLSTICE AND EQUINOX. THE ASHEN DAWN, SILVERING DUSK LA ORACIÓN AS IT LEAVES THE LIPS THE TUG FROM SLEEP THE GLIDE INTO DREAMS THAT HUSK OUT MESTIZO MEMORY. WE ARE━ ONE LIFE PASSING THROUGH THE PRISM OF ALL OTHERS, GATHERING COLOR AND SONG CEMPAZUCHIL AND DRUM TO LEAVE A RHYTHM SCATTERED ON THE WIND DUST TINTING THE TIPS OF FINGERS AS WE SLIP INTO OUR NEW LIGHT. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS KAYLA HACKNEY. AUTHOR’S PRAYER BY ILYA KAMINSKY. I CAN DANCE IN MY SLEEP AND LAUGH IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR, EVEN SLEEP IS A PRAYER. O, LORD, I WILL PRAISE YOUR MADNESS AND IN A LANGUAGE NOT MINE SPEAK OF MUSIC THAT WAKES US. MUSIC IN WHICH WE MOVE FOR WHATEVER I SAY IS A KIND OF PETITION AND THE DARKEST DAYS MUSTY PRAISE. THE. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR THIRD CONTESTANT, ANNIE LEE. WELCOME.>>MEDITATION ON A GRAPE FRUIT BY CRAIG ARNOLD. TO COME TO THE KITCHEN AND PEEL A LITTLE BASKETBALL FOR BREAKFAST TO TEAR THE HUSK LIKE COTTON PADDING A CLOUD OF OIL MISTING OUT OF ITS PINPRICK PORES CLEAN AND SHARP AS PEPPER TO EASE EACH PALE PINK SECTION OUT OF ITS CASE SO CAREFULLY WITHOUT BREAKING A SINGLE PEARLY CELL. TO SLIDE EACH PIECE INTO A COLD BLUE CHINA BOWL THE JUICE POOLING UNTIL THE WHOLE FRUIT IS DIVIDED FROM ITS SKIN AND ONLY THEN TO EAT SO SWEET A DISCIPLINE PRECISELY POINTLESS. A DEVOUT INVOLVEMENT OF THE HANDS AND SENSES A PAUSE A LITTLE EMPTINESS EACH YEAR HARDER TO LIVE WITHIN EACH YEAR HARDER TO LIVE WITHOUT [APPLAUSE]>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS HUNTER-GRACE JERNIGAN.>>THE DEATH OF ALLEGORY BY BILLY COLLINS.>>I AM WON DIRKING WHAT BECAME OF ALL THOSE TALL ABSTRACTIONS THAT USED TO POSE. ROBED AND STATUESQUE, IN PAINTINGS. AND PARADE ABOUT ON THE PAGES OF THE RENAISSANCE. DISPLAYING THEIR CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE LICENSE PLATES. TRUTH CANTERING ON A POWERFUL HORSE. CHASTITY, EYES DOWNCAST, FLUTTERING WITH VEILS. EACH ONE WAS MARBLE COME TO LIFE, A THOUGHT IN A COAT. COURTESY BOWING WITH ONE HAND ALWAYS EXTENDED. VILLAINY SHARPENING AN INSTRUMENT BEHIND A WALL. REASON WITH HER CROWN AND CONSTANCY ALERT BEHIND A HELM. THEY ARE ALL RETIRED NOW, CONSIGNED TO A FLORIDA FOR TROPES. JUSTICE IS THERE STANDING BY AN OPEN REFRIGERATOR. VALOR LIES IN BED LISTENING TO THE RAIN. EVEN DEATH HAS NOTHING TO DO BUT MEND HIS CLOAK AND HOOD. AND ALL THEIR PROPS ARE LOCKED AWAY IN A WAREHOUSE. HOURGLASSES, GLOBES, BLINDFOLDS AND SHACKLES. EVEN IF YOU CALLED THEM BACK, THERE ARE NO PLACES LEFT. FOR THEM TO GO, NO GARDEN OF MIRTH OR BOWER OF BLISS. THE VALLEY OF FORGIVENESS IS LINED WITH CONDOMINIUMS. AND CHAIN SAWS ARE HOWLING IN THE FOREST OF DESPAIR. HERE ON THE TABLE NEAR THE WINDOW IS A VASE OF PEONIES. AND NEXT TO IT BLACK BINOCULARS AND A MONEY CLIP. EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING WE NOW PREFER. OBJECTS THAT SIT QUIETLY ON A LINE IN LOWER CASE. THEMSELVES AND NOTHING MORE, A WHEELBARROW. AN EMPTY MAILBOX, A RAZOR BLADE RESTING IN A GLASS ASHTRAY. AS FOR THE OTHERS, THE GREAT IDEAS ON HORSEBACK. AND THE LONG-HAIRED VIRTUES IN EMBROIDERED GOWNS. IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THEY HAVE TRAVELED DOWN THAT ROAD YOU SEE ON THE FINAL PAGE OF STORYBOOKS. THE ONE THAT WINDS UP A GREEN HILLSIDE AND DISAPPEARS INTO AN UNSEEN VALLEY WHERE EVERYONE MUST BE FAST ASLEEP. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS ALEX WMPLETALH OUT.>>THE DEATH OF ALLEGORY BY BILLY COLLINS. I AM WONDERING WHAT BECAME OF ALL THOSE TALL ABSTRACTIONS. THAT USED TO POSE. ROBED AND STATUESQUE, IN PAINTINGS. AND PARADE ABOUT ON THE PAGES OF THE RENAISSANCE. DISPLAYING THEIR CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE LICENSE PLATES. TRUTH CANTERING ON A POWERFUL HORSE. CHASTITY, EYES DOWNCAST, FLUTTERING WITH VEILS. EACH ONE WAS MARBLE COME TO LIFE, A THOUGHT IN A COAT. COURTESY BOWING WITH ONE HAND ALWAYS EXTENDED. VILLAINY SHARPENING AN INSTRUMENT BEHIND A WALL. REASON WITH HER CROWN AND CONSTANCY ALERT BEHIND A HELM. THEY ARE ALL RETIRED NOW, CONSIGNED TO A FLORIDA FOR TROPES. JUSTICE IS THERE STANDING BY AN OPEN REFRIGERATOR. VALOR LIES IN BED LISTENING TO THE RAIN. EVEN DEATH HAS NOTHING TO DO BUT MEND HIS CLOAK AND HOOD. AND ALL THEIR PROPS ARE LOCKED AWAY IN A WAREHOUSE. HOURGLASSES, GLOBES, BLINDFOLDS AND SHACKLES. EVEN IF YOU CALLED THEM BACK, THERE ARE NO PLACES LEFT. FOR THEM TO GO, NO GARDEN OF MIRTH OR BOWER OF BLISS. THE VALLEY OF FORGIVENESS IS LINED WITH CONDOMINIUMS. AND CHAIN SAWS ARE HOWLING IN THE FOREST OF DESPAIR. HERE ON THE TABLE NEAR THE WINDOW IS A VASE OF PEONIES. AND NEXT TO IT BLACK BINOCULARS AND A MONEY CLIP. EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING WE NOW PREFER. OBJECTS THAT SIT QUIETLY ON A LINE IN LOWER CASE. THEMSELVES AND NOTHING MORE. A WHEELBARROW. AN EMPTY MAILBOX, A RAZOR BLADE RESTING IN A GLASS ASHTRAY. AS FOR THE OTHERS, THE GREAT IDEAS ON HORSEBACK. AND THE LONG-HAIRED VIRTUES IN EMBROIDERED GOWNS. IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THEY HAVE TRAVELED DOWN THAT ROAD YOU SEE ON THE FINAL PAGE OF STORYBOOKS. THE ONE THAT WINDS UP A GREEN HILLSIDE AND DISAPPEARS INTO AN UNSEEN VALLEY WHERE EVERYONE MUST BE FAST ASLEEP. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE] .>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS GRACE BURGESS.>>AN APOLOGY FOR HER POETRY BY MARGARET CAVENDISH. I LANGUAGE WANT TO DRESS MY FANCIES IN. THE HAIR’S UNCURLED, THE GARMENT’S LOOSE AND THIN. HAD THEY BUT SILVER LACE TO MAKE THEM GAY THEY’D BE MORE COURTED THAN IN POOR ARRAY; OR, HAD THEY ART, WOULD MAKE A BETTER SHOW; BUT THEY ARE PLAIN; YET CLEANLY DO THEY GO. THE WORLD IN BRAVERY DOTH TAKE DELIGHT AND GLISTERING SHOWS DO MORE ATTRACT THE SIGHT: AND EVERY ONE DOTH HONOR A RICH HOOD AS IF THE OUTSIDE MADE THE INSIDE GOOD. AND EVERY ONE DOTH BOW AND GIVE THE PLACE. NOT FOR THE MAN’S SAKE BUT THE SILVER LACE. LET ME INTREAT IN MY POOR BOOK’S BEHALF THAT ALL WILL NOT ADORE THE GOLDEN CALF. CONSIDER, PRAY, GOLD HATH NO LIFE THEREIN AND LIFE, IN NATURE, IS THE RICHEST THING. BE JUST, LET FANCY HAVE THE UPPER PLACE AND THEN MY VERSES MAY PERCHANCE FIND GRACE.>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS ISABELL ANDREWS.>>THE WINDHOVER BY GERARD MANLY HOPKINS.>>TO CHRIST OUR LORD I CAUGHT THIS MORNING MORNING’S MINION, KING- DOM OF DAYLIGHT’S DAUPHIN, DAPPLE-DAWN-DRAWN FALCON, IN HIS RIDING. OF THE ROLLING LEVEL UNDERNEATH HIM STEADY AIR, AND STRIDING. HIGH THERE, HOW HE RUNG UPON THE REIN OF A WIMPLING WING IN HIS ECSTASY! THEN OFF, OFF FORTH ON SWING. AS A SKATE’S HEEL SWEEPS SMOOTH ON A BOW-BEND: THE HURL AND GLIDING REBUFFED THE BIG WIND. MY HEART IN HIDING. STIRRED FOR A BIRD. THE ACHIEVE OF, THE MASTERY OF THE THING! BRUTE BEAUTY AND VALOUR AND ACT, OH, AIR, PRIDE, PLUME, HERE BUCKLE! AND THE FIRE THAT BREAKS FROM THEE THEN, A BILLION TIMES TOLD LOVELIER, MORE DANGEROUS, O MY CHEVALIER! NO WONDER OF IT: SHÉER PLÓD MAKES PLOUGH DOWN SILLION SHINE, AND BLUE-BLEAK EMBERS, AH MY DEAR. FALL, GALL THEMSELVES, AND GASH GOLD-VERMILION. [APPLAUSE]>>AHKEI TOGUN.>>FOOTBALL BY LOUIS JENKINS. I TAKE THE SNAP FROM THE CENTER, FAKE TO THE RIGHT, FADE BACK… I’VE GOT PROTECTION. I’VE GOT A RECEIVER OPEN DOWNFIELD… WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? THIS ISN’T A FOOTBALL, IT’S A SHOE, A MAN’S BROWN LEATHER OXFORD. A COUSIN TO A FOOTBALL MAYBE, THE SAME SKIN, BUT NOT THE SAME, A THING MADE FOR THE EARTH, NOT THE AIR. I REALIZE THAT THIS IS A WORLD WHERE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND I UNDERSTAND, ALSO, THAT ONE OFTEN HAS TO MAKE DO WITH WHAT ONE HAS. I HAVE EATEN PANCAKES, FOR INSTANCE, WITH THAT CLEAR CORN SYRUP ON THEM BECAUSE THERE WAS NO MAPLE SYRUP AND THEY WEREN’T VERY GOOD. WELL, ANYWAY, THIS IS DIFFERENT. (MY MAN DOWNFIELD IS WAVING HIS ARMS.) ONE HAS CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES ONE HAS TO MAKE CHOICES. THIS ISN’T RIGHT AND I’M NOT GOING TO THROW IT. THE. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR NEXT CON TEN AS IS BRENNAN REID.>>A POISON TREE BY WILLIAM BLAKE.>>I WAS ANGRY WITH MY FRIEND, I TOLD MY WRATH, MY WRATH DID END. I WAS ANGRY WITH BLI FOE, I TOLD IT TO NAUGHT. MY WRATH DID GROW AND I WATERED IT IN FEARS NIGHT AND MORNING WITH MY TEARS. AND I SUNNED IT WITH SMILES AND WITH SOFT DECEITFUL WILES AND IT GREW UNTIL IT BORE AN APPLE BRIGHT AND MY SOUL BE HELD ITS SHINE AND HE KNEW THAT IT WAS MINE AND INTO MY SOUL IT GREW WHEN THE NIGHT HAD VEILED THE POLE. IN THE MORNING GLAD I SEE MY FOE OUT STRETCHED BENEATH THE TREE. [APPLAUSE]>>ANNA REPP.>>ULTIMA THULE BY LINDA BIERDS. A LITTLE CANDLEWAX ON THE THUMBNAIL, LIQUID. AT FIRST, SLIPPING, THEN STALLED TO AN ICE-HOOD. ANOTHER LAYER, ANOTHER, AND THE CHILD LIES BACK. HIS THUMB A HUMMOCK, HIS SMALL KNUCKLE. BUCKLED WITH CRACKS. NO SNOW YET, BUT. THE LAST WHITE MEADOWS OF SWITCHWORT AND SAXIFRAGE. MIMIC IT. ALREADY THE BEARS BRUSH BACK. THROUGH THE DWARF WILLOWS━HUBBART POINT, CAPE HENRIETTA MARIA. THE BAY’S DEEP ARC FLATTENING, LESSENING. AS LAND EXTENDS THROUGH THE FAST-ICE AND THE SEAM. OF OPEN LEADS STRETCHES, WITHDRAWS. THEY HAVE COME FOR THE PACK FLOES, FOR THE SLOW RAFTING. AND REPEAT ON THEIR WHITE FACES, THE BOY THINKS THE LOW STROKES OF THE BOREALIS: VIOLET MOUTHS. MADDER BLUE AT THE EYELIDS. PERHAPS HE WILL WALK TO THE SHORELINE━NO SHORE, OF COURSE, JUST MILES OF LAND-FAST ICE STRETCHED OVER WATER, STRETCHED OUT TO WATER, THE LINE WHERE EACH BEGINS A FILAMENT, A VAPOR. BY THEN THE BEARS WILL BE SAILORS, OR, FAR TO THE NORTH, STALLED IN THEIR WAXY SLEEP. HE YAWNS, LOOKS DOWN AT HIS SLIPPER, HIS FLOORMAT OF BRAIDED FLEECE. BY THEN THE LIGHTS. WILL BE THICKER, GREENS AND MAGENTAS FLASHING, ROLLING IN AT TIMES LIKE FOG. TO GO WHERE NOTHING LIVES. HE TURNS, SETTLES. TO EXTEND A LITTLE BREATH OUT OVER THAT ICE━THE WHITE, CUMBERSOME BODIES MIGRATING IN REVERSE WITH THE OTHERS, DRAGGING BETWEEN THEM A LIFELINE, PLUMP AND INTRICATE. LIKE A NET, LIKE PURSE SEINERS DRAGGING A CORK NET. ITS GREAT ARC SPIRALING, TIGHTER, TIGHTER. NOW GREEN IN THOSE LIGHTS, NOW BLUE, NOW PINK AS THE BOY’S EAR. WHERE ALL NIGHT A LINE OF COLD. TRACES THE RIM, THE LOBE. CIRCLES DOWN, CHILLS, AND RECEDES. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR NEXT CONTESTANT IS BEN ELLIOTT.>>MECHANISM BY A. R. AMMONS.>>GOLD FINCH, HONOR A GOING THING, GOLDFINCH, CORPORATION, TREE MORALITY: ANY WORKING ORDER ANIMATE OR INANIMATE: IT HAS MANAGED DIRECTED BALANCE THE INCOMING AND OUTGOING ENERGIES ARE WORKING RIGHT SOME ENERGY LEFT TO THE MECHANISM SOME ASH, ENOUGH ENERGY HELD TO MAINTAIN THE ORDER IN REPAIR ASSURE FURTHER CONSUMPTION OF ENTROPY EXPENDING ENERGY TO STRENGTHEN ORDER: HONOR THE PERSISTING REACTOR THE CONTAINER OF CHANGE, THE MODERATOR: THE YELLOW BIRD FLASHES BLACK WING-BARS IN THE NEW-LEAVING WILD CHERRY BUSHES BY THE BAY STARTLES THE HAWK WITH BEAUTY FLITTING TO A BRANCH WHERE FLASH VANISHES INTO STILLNESS HAWK ADDLED BY THE SUDDEN LOSS OF SIGHT: HONOR THE CHEMISTRIES, PLATELETS, HEMOGLOBIN KINETICS THE LIGHT-SENSITIVE IRIS, THE ENZYMIC INTRICACIES OF CONTROL THE GASTRIC TRANSFORMATIONS, SEED DISSOLVED TO ACRID LIQUORS, SYNTHESIZED INTO CHIRP, VITREOUS HUMOR, KNOWLEDGE BLOOD COMPULSION, INSTINCT: HONOR THE UNIQUE GENES MOLECULES THAT REPRODUCE THEMSELVES, DIVIDE INTO SETS, THE NUCLEIC GRAIN TRANSMITTED IN SLOW CHANGE THROUGH AGES OF RISING AND FALLING FORM SOME CELLS SET ASIDE FOR THE SPECIAL WORK, MIND OR PERCEPTION RISING INTO ORDERS OF COURTSHIP TERRITORIAL RIGHTS, MIND RISING FROM THE PHYSICAL CHEMISTRIES TO GUARANTEE THAT GENES WILL BE EXCHANGED, MALE AND FEMALE MET, THE SATISFACTIONS CLOAKING A DEEPER RACIAL SATISFACTION: HEAT KEPT BY A FEATHERED SKIN: THE LIVING ALEMBIC, BODY HEAT MAINTAINED (BUNSEN BURNER UNDER THE FLASK) SO THE CHEMISTRIES CAN PROCEED, REACTION RATES INTERDEPENDENT, SELF-ADJUSTING, WITH OPTIMUM EFFICIENCY━THE VESSEL FIRM, THE FLAME STAYING: ISOLATED, CONTAINED REACTIONS! THE PRECISE AND NECESSARY WORKED OUT OF RANDOM, REPRODUCIBLE THE HANDIWORK REDEEMED FROM CHANCE, WHILE THE GOLDFINCH, UNCONSCIOUS OF THE BILLION OPERATIONS THAT STAY ITS FORM, FLASHES, CHIRPING (NOT A GREAT SONGSTER) IN THE BAY CHERRY BUSHES WILD OF LEAF. [APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES OUR FIRST ROUND. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE WELCOME TEENS WITH A PURPOSE. A CREATIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION FROM HAMPTON ROADS SINCE 1996, WHOSE MISSION IS TO CREATIVELY CULTIVATE THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS. THEY USE SPOKEN WORD, POETRY, MUSIC AND PEER LED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION. THESE YOUNG PEOPLE EMBRACE LITERACY; THEIR ABILITY TO TELL STORIES, TO CRITICALLY AND CREATIVELY ANALYZE THEIR WORLDS AND TO PRESENT THAT INFORMATION IN A WAY THAT IS ACCESSIBLE TO LARGE AND DIVERSE AUDIENCE IN POEM AND SONG. OUR PERFORMERS TODAY ARE RICHARD LOVE, TEENS WITH A PURPOSE CREATIVE PROGRAM COORDINATOR, ON GUITAR. EUGNEYA GUINN-BAILEY, SINGER, DONAVAN POLLACK, POET. THEY ARE TEENS WITH A PURPOSE HAMPTON ROADS YOUTH POETS AND MUSIC MADE SIMPLE. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪.>>YOU SEE US POETS ARE LIKE POLITICIANS, WE ARE ELECTED BY CONSCIOUS TO SIT ON THE SOUL AND GOVERN THE HEART’S EMOTION BY THE EARS AND SOMEHOW WE CAN HEAR IT ALL. WE CAN HEAR THE SPEECHES OF SPOKEN WORD STANCES THAT CAN SLAY DRAG ONS IN SIGHT. SWORDS IN COMPOSITION BOOKS, SEE US POETS ARE A LOT LIKE POLITICAL CANDIDATES CAMELOT AND JOAN OF ARK. THIS THING WE CALL POETRY SLAM, WE TAKE OUR WORDS AND METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU IMAGINE ALL OUR SPOKEN WORDS AND THIS IS HOW WE EVOLVE. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪.>>BACK TO THE CHASE. MET AFORICLY WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN BE RIPPED FROM THE PAGES OF THE KING’S SPEECH LIKE WE WILL STRONG AS A NATION. SPITTING PIECES OF PROPAGANDA WHILE BOMBS RAIN FROM THE SKY AND WE RUN FOR COVER IN UNDER WATER SUBWAYS, WE WILL RUN THROUGH THE RAIN WITH BOOKS FORUM BREL AS AND STORM NORMANDY BEACH. THE AND IT CRAZY, BECAUSE WE CAN ALL DO IT, AND WHEN THOSE ATOMIC BOMBS DROP THE ONLY THING LEFT IN THE AIR WILL BE THE RADIATION, CONSTANTLY CAPTIVATING TO THOSE COPYING AND STRUGGLING ON A REGULAR DAY BASIS. EDGAR ALLEN POE’S BE SILENT WHILE THE POLITICIANS SMILE BUT UNTIL THEN I’M LIKE EVERY OTHER POET. I AM A POET AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE. ♪ ♪ [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU! WE’RE NOW ABOUT READY TO BEGIN ROUND 2 AND WE WILL FOLLOW THE SAME ORDER WE DID IN ROUND 1, THE STUDENTS WILL IDENTIFY THEIR POEM AND AFTER ROUND 2 WE WILL TAKE A LITTLE TINY BREAK AND IDENTIFY THE TOP THREE STUDENTS WHO WILL ADVANCE TO ROUND 3 TO DETERMINE TODAY’S STATE CHAMPIONS. SO, LET’S BEGIN AGAIN WITH CONTESTANT NUMBER 1, JESSE URGO.>>DOVER BEACH. BY MATTHEW ARNOLD THE SEA IS CALM TONIGHT. THE TIDE IS FULL, THE MOON LIES FAIR. UPON THE STRAITS; ON THE FRENCH COAST THE LIGHT GLEAMS AND IS GONE; THE CLIFFS OF ENGLAND STAND GLIMMERING AND VAST, OUT IN THE TRANQUIL BAY. COME TO THE WINDOW, SWEET IS THE NIGHT-AIR! ONLY, FROM THE LONG LINE OF SPRAY WHERE THE SEA MEETS THE MOON-BLANCHED LAND. LISTEN! YOU HEAR THE GRATING ROAR OF PEBBLES WHICH THE WAVES DRAW BACK, AND FLING AT THEIR RETURN, UP THE HIGH STRAND. BEGIN, AND CEASE, AND THEN AGAIN BEGIN WITH TREMULOUS CADENCE SLOW, AND BRING THE ETERNAL NOTE OF SADNESS IN. SOPHOCLES LONG AGO HEARD IT ON THE EGEAN, AND IT BROUGHT INTO HIS MIND THE TURBID EBB AND FLOW OF HUMAN MISERY; WE FIND ALSO IN THE SOUND A THOUGHT HEARING IT BY THIS DISTANT NORTHERN SEA. THE SEA OF FAITH WAS ONCE, TOO, AT THE FULL, AND ROUND EARTH’S SHORE LAY LIKE THE FOLDS OF A BRIGHT GIRDLE FURLED. BUT NOW I ONLY HEAR ITS MELANCHOLY, LONG, WITHDRAWING ROAR. RETREATING, TO THE BREATH OF THE NIGHT-WIND, DOWN THE VAST EDGES DREAR AND NAKED SHINGLES OF THE WORLD. AH, LOVE, LET US BE TRUE TO ONE ANOTHER! FOR THE WORLD, WHICH SEEMS TO LIE BEFORE US LIKE A LAND OF DREAMS SO VARIOUS, SO BEAUTIFUL, SO NEW. HATH REALLY NEITHER JOY, NOR LOVE, NOR LIGHT NOR CERTITUDE, NOR PEACE, NOR HELP FOR PAIN; AND WE ARE HERE AS ON A DARKLING PLAIN. SWEPT WITH CONFUSED ALARMS OF STRUGGLE AND FLIGHT. WHERE IGNORANT ARMIES CLASH BY NIGHT. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, JESSE. ALL RIGHT, MISS KAYLA HACKNEY.>>AH! WHY, BECAUSE THE DAZZLING SUN BY EMILY BRONTE. AH! WHY, BECAUSE THE DAZZLING SUN RESTORED MY EARTH TO JOY. HAVE YOU DEPARTED, EVERY ONE. AND LEFT A DESERT SKY? ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, YOUR GLORIOUS EYES WERE GAZING DOWN IN MINE. AND WITH A FULL HEART’S THANKFUL SIGHS I BLESSED THAT WATCH DIVINE! I WAS AT PEACE, AND DRANK YOUR BEAMS AS THEY WERE LIFE TO ME. AND REVELLED IN MY CHANGEFUL DREAMS LIKE PETREL ON THE SEA. THOUGHT FOLLOWED THOUGHT━STAR FOLLOWED STAR THROUGH BOUNDLESS REGIONS ON. WHILE ONE SWEET INFLUENCE, NEAR AND FAR THRILLED THROUGH AND PROVED US ONE. WHY DID THE MORNING RISE TO BREAK SO GREAT, SO PURE A SPELL. AND SCORCH WITH FIRE THE TRANQUIL CHEEK WHERE YOUR COOL RADIANCE FELL? BLOOD-RED HE ROSE, AND ARROW-STRAIGHT. HIS FIERCE BEAMS STRUCK MY BROW; THE SOUL OF NATURE SPRANG ELATE. BUT MINE SANK SAD AND LOW! MY LIDS CLOSED DOWN━YET THROUGH THEIR VEIL I SAW HIM BLAZING STILL; AND BATHE IN GOLD THE MISTY DALE AND FLASH UPON THE HILL. I TURNED ME TO THE PILLOW THEN. TO CALL BACK NIGHT, AND SEE YOUR WORLDS OF SOLEMN LIGHT, AGAIN THROB WITH MY HEART AND ME! IT WOULD NOT DO━THE PILLOW GLOWED AND GLOWED BOTH ROOF AND FLOOR. AND BIRDS SANG LOUDLY IN THE WOOD AND FRESH WINDS SHOOK THE DOOR. THE CURTAINS WAVED, THE WAKENED FLIES WERE MURMURING ROUND MY ROOM. IMPRISONED THERE, TILL I SHOULD RISE AND GIVE THEM LEAVE TO ROAM. O STARS AND DREAMS AND GENTLE NIGHT; O NIGHT AND STARS RETURN! AND HIDE ME FROM THE HOSTILE LIGHT THAT DOES NOT WARM, BUT BURN. THAT DRAINS THE BLOOD OF SUFFERING MEN; DRINKS TEARS, INSTEAD OF DEW: LET ME SLEEP THROUGH HIS BLINDING REIGN AND ONLY WAKE WITH YOU! [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, KAYLA. NEXT WE HAVE ANNIE LEE.>>RICHARD CORY. BY EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON. WHENEVER RICHARD CORY WENT DOWN TOWN WE PEOPLE ON THE PAVEMENT LOOKED AT HIM: HE WAS A GENTLEMAN FROM SOLE TO CROWN. CLEAN FAVORED, AND IMPERIALLY SLIM. AND HE WAS ALWAYS QUIETLY ARRAYED AND HE WAS ALWAYS HUMAN WHEN HE TALKED; BUT STILL HE FLUTTERED PULSES WHEN HE SAID “GOOD-MORNING,” AND HE GLITTERED WHEN HE WALKED. AND HE WAS RICH━YES, RICHER THAN A KING. AND ADMIRABLY SCHOOLED IN EVERY GRACE: IN FINE, WE THOUGHT THAT HE WAS EVERYTHING. TO MAKE US WISH THAT WE WERE IN HIS PLACE. SO ON WE WORKED, AND WAITED FOR THE LIGHT AND WENT WITHOUT THE MEAT, AND CURSED THE BREAD; AND RICHARD CORY, ONE CALM SUMMER NIGHT WENT HOME AND PUT A BULLET THROUGH HIS HEAD. [APPLAUSE]>>HUNTER GRACE JERNIGAN.>>DOUBLE DUTCH. BY GREGORY PARDLO. THE GIRLS TURNING DOUBLE-DUTCH BOB AND WEAVE LIKE BOXERS PULLING PUNCHES, SHADOWING EACH OTHER SPARRING ACROSS THE SLACK CORD CASTING PARABOLAS IN THE AIR. THEY WHIP QUICK AS AN INFANT’S PULSE AND THE JUMPER, BEFORE SHE ENTERS THE WINKING, NODS IN TIME AS IF SHE HAS A NOTION TO SHARE WAITING HER CHANCE TO SPEAK. BUT SHE’S ANTICIPATING THE UPBEAT LIKE A BANDLEADER COUNTING OFF THE TUNE THEY ARE ABOUT TO SWING INTO. THE JUMPER STAIR-STEPS INTO MID-AIR AS IF SHE’S JUMPING ROPE IN LOW-GRAVITY TRAINING FOR A LUNAR MISSION. AIRBORNE A MOMENT LONG ENOUGH TO FIT A SECOND THOUGHT IN SHE LOOKS CAUGHT IN THE MOUTH BONES OF A FISH AS SHE FLUTTER-FLOATS INTO MOTION LIKE A FIGURE IN A STACK OF TIME-LAPSE PHOTOS THUMBED ALIVE. ONCE INSIDE THE BELLS TIED TO HER SHOESTRINGS ROUSE THE GODS WHO’VE LAIN IN THE DUST SINCE THE DUTCH ACQUIRED MANHATTAN. HOW SHE DANCES PATTERNS LIKE A DUST-HEAVY BEE RETRACING ITS TRAVELS IN SCALE BEFORE THE HIVE. HOW THE WHOLE STUNNING CONTRAPTION OF GIRL AND ROPE SLAPS AND SCOOPS LIKE A PADDLE BOAT. HER MISTED SKIN ARRANGES THE LIGHT WITH EACH ADJUSTMENT AND FLEX. NOW HEATHER-HUED, NOW SHEEN, LIGHT LISTING ON THE FULCRUM OF A WRIST AND THE BARE JUTTED JOINTS OF ELBOW AND KNEE, AND THE FACETED SURFACES OF MUSCLE SURFACES FRACTURING AND REFORMING LIKE A SUN-TICKLED SLEEVE OF RUNNING WATER. SHE MAKES JEWELRY OF HERSELF AND GARLANDS THE GROUND WITH SHADOWS. [APPLAUSE]>>ALL RIGHT. ALEX WALHOUT.>>BATTER MY HEART THREE PERSON GOD.>>BREATHE, SHINE AND SEEK TO MEND THAT I MAY RISE AND STAND OR THROW ME AND BEND YOUR FORCE TO BREAK, BLOW, BURN AND MAKE ME NEW. I LIKE A NEW TOWN TO ANOTHER DUE LABOR TO ADMIT YOU, BUT, OH, TO KNOW END, REASON, YOUR VICE ROY IN YOU, ME SHOULD DEFEND BUT IS CAPTIVE AND PROVES WEEK OR UNTRUE. YET DEARLY I LOVE YOU AND WOULD BE LOVED BUT I’M BETROTHED TO YOUR ENEMY. IMPRISON ME, FOR I ACCEPT YOU, ENTHRAWL ME, NEVER SHALL BE FREE NOR EVER CHASTE YET YOU RAFFISH ME. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>BRACE BURGESS.>>I AM OFFERING THIS POEM. BY JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA. I AM OFFERING THIS POEM TO YOU SINCE I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO GIVE. KEEP IT LIKE A WARM COAT WHEN WINTER COMES TO COVER YOU OR LIKE A PAIR OF THICK SOCKS THE COLD CANNOT BITE THROUGH I LOVE YOU I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO GIVE YOU SO IT IS A POT FULL OF YELLOW CORN TO WARM YOUR BELLY IN WINTER IT IS A SCARF FOR YOUR HEAD, TO WEAR OVER YOUR HAIR, TO TIE UP AROUND YOUR FACE I LOVE YOU KEEP IT, TREASURE THIS AS YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE LOST, NEEDING DIRECTION IN THE WILDERNESS LIFE BECOMES WHEN MATURE; AND IN THE CORNER OF YOUR DRAWER TUCKED AWAY LIKE A CABIN OR HOGAN IN DENSE TREES, COME KNOCKING AND I WILL ANSWER, GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS AND LET YOU WARM YOURSELF BY THIS FIRE REST BY THIS FIRE, AND MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE I LOVE YOU IT’S ALL I HAVE TO GIVE AND ALL ANYONE NEEDS TO LIVE AND TO GO ON LIVING INSIDE WHEN THE WORLD OUTSIDE NO LONGER CARES IF YOU LIVE OR DIE; REMEMBER I LOVE YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>ISABELLE ANDREWS.>>THE EMPTY DANCE SHOES BY CORNELIUS EADY. MY FRIENDS, AS IT HAS BEEN PROVEN IN THE LABORATORY, AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCE SHOES. WILL SIT ON THE FLOOR LIKE A WART UNTIL IT IS GIVEN A REASON TO MOVE. THOSE OF US WHO STUDY INERTIA (THOSE OF US COVERED WITH WILD HAIR AND SLEEP) CAN STATE THIS WITHOUT FEAR: THE ENERGY IN A PAIR OF SHOES AT REST IS ABOUT THE SAME AS THAT OF A CLOWN KNOCKED FLAT BY A SANDBAG. THIS YOU CAN TELL YOUR FRIENDS WITH CERTAINTY: A CLOWN, FLAT ON HIS BACK IS A LOT LIKE AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCING SHOES. AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCING SHOES IS ALSO A LOT LIKE A LEAF PRESSED IN A BOOK. AND NOW YOU KNOW A SIMPLE TRUTH: A LEAF PRESSED IN, SAY, “THE COLOSSUS” BY SYLVIA PLATH, IS NO DIFFERENT FROM AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCE SHOES. EVEN IF THOSE SHOES ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STARDUST BALLROOM WITH ALL THE LIGHTS ON, AND HOT MUSIC SHAKES THE WINDOWS UP AND DOWN THE BLOCK. THIS IS THE SECRET OF INERTIA: THE SHOES RUN ON THEIR OWN SENSE OF THE WORLD. THEY ARE IN SYMPATHY WITH THE ROCK THE KID SKIPS OVER THE LAKE AFTER IT SETTLES TO THE MUD. NOT WITH THE RIPPLES, BUT WITH THE ROCK. A PRACTICAL AND PERSONAL APPLICATION OF INERTIA CAN BE FOUND IN THE QUESTION: WHOSE TURN IS IT TO TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE? AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCE SHOES IS A LOT LIKE THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, AS WELL AS BOOK-LENGTH POEMS SET IN THE MIDWEST. TO SUM UP: AN EMPTY PAIR OF DANCE SHOES IS A LOT LIKE THE SAND THE 98-POUND WEAKLING BRUSHES FROM HIS CHEEKS AS THE BULLY TOWS AWAY HIS GIRLFRIEND. LATER, WHEN HE SPIES THE COUPON AT THE BACK OF THE COMIC BOOK, HE IS ABOUT TO ACT UPON A DIFFERENT SET OF SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES. HE IS READY TO DANCE. [APPLAUSE]>>AHKEI TOGUN.>>THE CANNONIZATION. FOR GOD’S SAKE HOLD YOUR TONGUE, AND LET ME LOVE. OR CHIDE MY PALSY, OR MY GOUT. MY FIVE GRAY HAIRS, OR RUINED FORTUNE FLOUT. WITH WEALTH YOUR STATE, YOUR MIND WITH ARTS IMPROVE. TAKE YOU A COURSE, GET YOU A PLACE. OBSERVE HIS HONOR, OR HIS GRACE. OR THE KING’S REAL, OR HIS STAMPÈD FACE. CONTEMPLATE; WHAT YOU WILL, APPROVE. SO YOU WILL LET ME LOVE. ALAS, ALAS, WHO’S INJURED BY MY LOVE? WHAT MERCHANT’S SHIPS HAVE MY SIGHS DROWNED? WHO SAYS MY TEARS HAVE OVERFLOWED HIS GROUND? WHEN DID MY COLDS A FORWARD SPRING REMOVE? WHEN DID THE HEATS WHICH MY VEINS FILL ADD ONE MORE TO THE PLAGUY BILL? SOLDIERS FIND WARS, AND LAWYERS FIND OUT STILL LITIGIOUS MEN, WHICH QUARRELS MOVE THOUGH SHE AND I DO LOVE. CALL US WHAT YOU WILL, WE ARE MADE SUCH BY LOVE; CALL HER ONE, ME ANOTHER FLY. WE’RE TAPERS TOO, AND AT OUR OWN COST DIE. AND WE IN US FIND THE EAGLE AND THE DOVE. THE PHEONIX RIDDLE HATH MORE WIT. BY US; WE TWO BEING ONE, ARE IT. SO, TO ONE NEUTRAL THING BOTH SEXES FIT. WE DIE AND RISE THE SAME, AND PROVE MYSTERIOUS BY THIS LOVE. WE CAN DIE BY IT, IF NOT LIVE BY LOVE AND IF UNFIT FOR TOMBS AND HEARSE OUR LEGEND BE, IT WILL BE FIT FOR VERSE; AND IF NO PIECE OF CHRONICLE WE PROVE WE’LL BUILD IN SONNETS PRETTY ROOMS; AS WELL A WELL-WROUGHT URN BECOMES THE GREATEST ASHES, AS HALF-ACRE TOMBS AND BY THESE HYMNS, ALL SHALL APPROVE US CANONIZED FOR LOVE. AND THUS INVOKE US: “YOU, WHOM REVEREND LOVE MADE ONE ANOTHER’S HERMITAGE; YOU, TO WHOM LOVE WAS PEACE, THAT NOW IS RAGE; WHO DID THE WHOLE WORLD’S SOUL CONTRACT, AND DROVE INTO THE GLASSES OF YOUR EYES (SO MADE SUCH MIRRORS, AND SUCH SPIES THAT THEY DID ALL TO YOU EPITOMIZE) COUNTRIES, TOWNS, COURTS: BEG FROM ABOVE A PATTERN OF YOUR LOVE!” [APPLAUSE]>>NEXT MR. BRENNAN REI DI.>>FAMOUS. BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE THE RIVER IS FAMOUS TO THE FISH. THE LOUD VOICE IS FAMOUS TO SILENCE. WHICH KNEW IT WOULD INHERIT THE EARTH. BEFORE ANYBODY SAID SO. THE CAT SLEEPING ON THE FENCE IS FAMOUS TO THE BIRDS. WATCHING HIM FROM THE BIRDHOUSE. THE TEAR IS FAMOUS, BRIEFLY, TO THE CHEEK. THE IDEA YOU CARRY CLOSE TO YOUR BOSOM IS FAMOUS TO YOUR BOSOM. THE BOOT IS FAMOUS TO THE EARTH. MORE FAMOUS THAN THE DRESS SHOE WHICH IS FAMOUS ONLY TO FLOORS. THE BENT PHOTOGRAPH IS FAMOUS TO THE ONE WHO CARRIES IT. AND NOT AT ALL FAMOUS TO THE ONE WHO IS PICTURED. I WANT TO BE FAMOUS TO SHUFFLING MEN WHO SMILE WHILE CROSSING STREETS. STICKY CHILDREN IN GROCERY LINES. FAMOUS AS THE ONE WHO SMILED BACK. I WANT TO BE FAMOUS IN THE WAY A PULLEY IS FAMOUS. OR A BUTTONHOLE, NOT BECAUSE IT DID ANYTHING SPECTACULAR. BUT BECAUSE IT NEVER FORGOT WHAT IT COULD DO. [APPLAUSE]>>AND NOW MISS ANNA REPP.>>THE DELTA BY BRUCE BOND.>>IF YOU ARE GOING THERE ALONE PREPARE TO GET WET. YOU ARE NOT YOU ANYMORE. YOU ARE A GIRL STANDING IN A POOL OF CLOUD AS THEY CATCH FIRE IN THE DISTANCE. THERE ARE LAWS OF HEAVEN AND THOSE OF PLACE AND THOSE WHO SEE THE SKY AND THE WATER, ANGELS AND ASHES THAT ARE THE DELTA NOW. THEY SAY IF YOU SWEEP THE TRASH FROM YOUR HOUSE AFTER DARK YOU SWEEP AWAY YOUR LUCK. IF YOU ARE GOING BY FOOT, BRING A STICK, A THIRD LEG, AND HONOR THE GREAT DISORDER, THE GREAT BROOM OF WATER FOUL AND SONG BIRDS. PREPARE TO VOODOO YOUR WAY BEST YOU CAN KNOWING THERE IS LITTLE WATER IN THINGS YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED, A LITTLE CHARITY AND SQUALL OR FOR THE SMALLEST FORMS OF LIFE. VORODOO IS ALWAYS MOSTLY CHARITY. PEOPLE FORGET IF YOU SHAKE A TABLECLOTH AT NIGHT SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY DIES. THERE ARE LAWS WE MAKE THINKING IT WAS US WHO MADE THEM. WE ARE NOT US. WE ARE A FLOODPLAIN BY THE MISSISSIPPI THAT ONCE POURED SLAVES UP RIVER TO THE FIELDS. WE ARE A HURRICANE IN THE MAKING. WE COULD USE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS SOMETHING ABOUT SUFFERING WHO KNOWS THE DELTA’S NEEDS. WE UNDERSTAND IF YOU WANT A WIDOW TO STAY SINGLE CUT OFF HER HUSBAND’S SHOES. HE IS NOT HIMSELF ANYWAY AND WALKS BAREFOOT ACROSS A LAPPEDSCAPE THAT HAS NO NORTH. ONLY A GHOST TREE HERE AND THERE, A FROG TREE, A CRICKET, A BIRD AND IF THE FATES ARE FINE A GIRL WITH A STICK WHO IS MORE AT HOME BEING HOMELESS THAN YOU WILL EVER BE. [APPLAUSE]>>OUR LAST CONTESTANT FOR ROUND 2 IS MR. BEN ELLIOTT.>>IN SCHOOL-DAYS BY JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER STILL SITS THE SCHOOL-HOUSE BY THE ROAD, A RAGGED BEGGAR SLEEPING; AROUND IT STILL THE SUMACHS GROW AND BLACKBERRY-VINES ARE CREEPING. WITHIN, THE MASTER’S DESK IS SEEN, DEEP SCARRED BY RAPS OFFICIAL; THE WARPING FLOOR, THE BATTERED SEATS, THE JACK-KNIFE’S CARVED INITIAL; THE CHARCOAL FRESCOS ON ITS WALL; ITS DOOR’S WORN SILL, BETRAYING THE FEET THAT, CREEPING SLOW TO SCHOOL, WENT STORMING OUT TO PLAYING! LONG YEARS AGO A WINTER SUN SHONE OVER IT AT SETTING; LIT UP ITS WESTERN WINDOW-PANES, AND LOW EAVES’ ICY FRETTING. IT TOUCHED THE TANGLED GOLDEN CURLS, AND BROWN EYES FULL OF GRIEVING, OF ONE WHO STILL HER STEPS DELAYED. WHEN ALL THE SCHOOL WERE LEAVING. FOR NEAR HER STOOD THE LITTLE BOY HER CHILDISH FAVOR SINGLED: HIS CAP PULLED LOW UPON A FACE WHERE PRIDE AND SHAME WERE MINGLED. PUSHING WITH RESTLESS FEET THE SNOW TO RIGHT AND LEFT, HE LINGERED; AS RESTLESSLY HER TINY HANDS THE BLUE-CHECKED APRON FINGERED. HE SAW HER LIFT HER EYES; HE FELT THE SOFT HAND’S LIGHT CARESSING. AND HEARD THE TREMBLE OF HER VOICE, AS IF A FAULT CONFESSING. “I’M SORRY THAT I SPELT THE WORD: I HATE TO GO ABOVE YOU, BECAUSE,” — THE BROWN EYES LOWER FELL -━ “BECAUSE, YOU SEE, I LOVE YOU!” STILL MEMORY TO A GRAY-HAIRED MAN THAT SWEET CHILD-FACE IS SHOWING. DEAR GIRL! THE GRASSES ON HER GRAVE HAVE FORTY YEARS BEEN GROWING! HE LIVES TO LEARN, IN LIFE’S HARD SCHOOL, HOW FEW WHO PASS ABOVE HIM LAMENT THEIR TRIUMPH AND HIS LOSS, LIKE HER, BECAUSE THEY LOVE HIM. [APPLAUSE]>>THAT IS THE END OF ROUND 2 AND WE WILL TAKE A PREVIOUS INTERMISSION AND I SAY BRIEF, LITTLE TINY, DON’T GO ANYWHERE, BRIEF INTERMISSION IN PREPARATION FOR ROUND 3. [APPLAUSE]>>THE JUDGES HAVE IDENTIFIED THE TOP THREE FINALISTS TO PROCEED TO THE THIRD AND FINAL ROUND OF TODAY’S COMPETITION. THEY ARE ISABELLE ANDREWS WHO WILL READ FIRST. THEN AHKEI TOGUN WHO WILL READ SECOND AND BEN ELLIOTT WILL READ THIRD. MAY WE HAVE ISABELLE.>>CREPUSCULE WITH MURIEL. BY MARILYN HACKER INSTEAD OF A CUP OF TEA, INSTEAD OF A MILK- SILK WHELK OF A CUP, OF A CUP OF NEARLY SIX O’CLOCK TEATIME, CUP OF A STUMBLING BLOCK. CUP OF AN AFTERNOON UNREDEEMED BY TALK. CUP OF A CUT BROWN LOAF, OF A SLICE, A LACK OF BUTTER, BLUEBERRY JAM THAT’S ALMOST BLACK. INSTEAD OF TANNIN SEEPING INTO THE CRACKS OF A POT, THE VOID OF AN HOUR SEEPS OUT, INFECTS THE SLIT OF A CUT I HAVEN’T THE WIT TO FIX. WITH A SURGEON’S NEEDLE THREADED WITH FINE-GAUGE SILK. AS A KEY WOULD THREAD THE CYLINDER OF A LOCK. BUT NO KEY THREADS THE CYLINDER OF A LOCK. LATE AFTERNOON LIGHT, TRANSITORY, LICKS. THE PLACE OF THE ABSENT CUP WITH ITS ROUGH TONGUE, FLICKS ITSELF OUT BENEATH THE WHEEL’S REVOLVING SPOKE. TAUT THOUGHT’S GONE, WITH A BLINK OF ATTENTION, SLACK. A VISION OF “DEATH AND DISTANCE IN THE MIX” (SHE LOST HER WORDS AND HOW DID SHE GET THEM BACK WHEN THE CORRIDOR OF A DAY WAS A LURCHING DECK? THE DREAM-LIFE LOGIC ENCODES IN NERVOUS TICS SHE TRANSLATED TO A SYNTAX WHICH CONNECTS INTENSE AND UNFASHIONABLE POLITICS. WITH MORNING COFFEE, HUDSON SUNSETS, SEX; THEN THE SHORT-CIRCUIT OF THE FINAL STROKE. THE END TOWARD WHICH ALL LINES LOOPED OUT, THEN BROKE). WHAT A GAZE OUT THE WINDOW INTERJECTS: ON THE SOUTHEAST CORNER, A BLACK LAB BALKS TUGGED AS THE LIGHT CLICKS GREEN TOWARD A LATE-DAY WALK BY A PLUMP BROWN GIRL IN A PURPLE ANORAK. THE BRONX-BOUND LOCAL COMES RUMBLING UP THE TRACKS. OUT OF THE TUNNEL, OVER WEST HARLEM BLOCKS WHOSE WINDOWS GLEAM ON THE ANIMAL WARMTH OF BRICKS. ROUGED BY THE FLUVIAL LIGHT OF SIX O’CLOCK. [APPLAUSE]>>THE WAY IT SOMETIMES IS. BY HENRY TAYLOR AT TIMES IT IS LIKE WATCHING A FACE YOU HAVE JUST MET TRYING TO DECIDE WHO IT REMINDS TRYING TO DECIDE WHO IT REMINDS YOU OF━NO ONE, SURELY, WHOM YOU EVER HATED OR LOVED BUT YES, SOMEBODY, SOMEBODY. YOU WATCH THE FACE AS IT TURNS AND NODS, SHOWING YOU, AT CERTAIN ANGLES A CURVE OF THE LIPS OR A LIFT OF THE EYEBROW THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT, AND STILL THE LOST FACE ELUDES YOU. NOW THIS FACE IS TALKING, AND YOU HEAR A SOUND IN THE VOICE, THE ACCENT ON CERTAIN WORDS━ YES! A PHRASE . . . YOU BARELY RECALL SITTING OUTSIDE BY A POOL OR A CAMPFIRE, REMARKING A PECULIAR, RECURRING EXPRESSION. TWO SYLLABLES, WASN’T IT? DOORKNOB? BATHROOM? SHAWCROSS? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF WORD IS SHAWCROSS? A NAME; NOT THE RIGHT ONE. A COUPLE OF SYLLABLES THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE A LITTLE LIKE SOMETHING YOU MAY ONCE HAVE HEARD. SO THE TALK DRIFTS, AND YOU DRIFT, SNEAKING GLANCES POUNDING YOUR BRAIN. DAYS LATER A FACE OCCURS TO YOU AND YES, THERE IS A RESEMBLANCE. THAT ODD WORD, THOUGH OR PHRASE, IS GONE. IT MUST HAVE BEEN SOMEBODY ELSE. YES, IT’S LIKE THAT, AT TIMES; SOMETHING IS, MAYBE; AND THERE ARE DAYS WHEN YOU CAN ALMOST SAY WHAT IT IS. [APPLAUSE]>>BEN ELLIOTT.>>THE DAY BY GEOFFREY BROCK IT HANGS ON ITS STEM LIKE A PLUM AT THE EDGE OF A DARKENING THICKET. IT’S SWELLING AND BLUSHING AND RIPE AND I REACH OUT A HAND TO PICK IT BUT FLESH MOVES SLOW THROUGH TIME AND EVENING COMES ON FAST AND JUST WHEN I THINK MY FINGERS MIGHT SEIZE THAT SWEETNESS AT LAST THE GENTLEST OF BREEZES RISES AND THE PLUM LETS GO OF THE STEM. AND NOW IT’S MY FINGERS RIPENING AND EVENING THAT’S REACHING FOR THEM. [APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES OUR THIRD AND FINAL ROUND OF RECITATIONS TODAY AND I LEAVE IN JUST A MINUTE THE JUDGES WILL HAVE DETERMINED A WINNER AND RUNNER-UP. BEFORE WE ANNOUNCE THE RUNNER-UP AND WINNER, THE STATE CHAMPION WILL RECEIVE $200 AND AN ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH A CHAPERONE TO ATTEND THE NATIONAL POETRY OUT LOUD COMPETITION ON APRIL 28-29. YOU WILL HAVE TO REPRESENT THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU! SO THE CHAMPION’S SCHOOL WILL RECEIVE A $500 STIPEND FOR THE PURCHASE OF POETRY BOOKS. ONE RUNNER-UP WILL RECEIVE $100, AND A $200 STIPEND FOR THE PURCHASE OF POETRY BOOKS FOR THEIR SCHOOL LIBRARY. WE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS AS MUCH AS I HAVE ENJOYED LISTENING TO ALL OF YOUR POEMS, THEY REALLY BROUGHT WONDERFUL PICTURES TO MIND AND YOUR DELIVERY WAS JUST DELIGHTFUL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING IN POETRY OUT LOUD. I’M NOW TO INTRODUCE A SPECIAL GUEST WE HAVE WITH US TODAY. ANNE HOLTON, VIRGINIA’S SECRETARY OF EDUCATION. WELCOME, ANNE.>>THANK YOU, WHAT A TREAT TO BE WITH YOU TODAY, THAT WAS AMAZING, LET’S HAVE ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR ISABELLE, AHKEI AND BEN. I HEAR ALL OF YOU FINALISTS WERE PHENOMENAL, ALL WINNERS JUST BE BEING HERE, ALL WINNERS HAVING ENGAGED IN THIS WONDERFUL COMPETITION WHICH I HOPE HAS FED YOUR HEARTS AND SOULS AS WELL AS MINDS, THIS EVENT CELEBRATING POETRY IS A GREAT THING. I WANT TO THANK THE SPONSORS TODAY, THE POETRY OUTLOUD IS THE VIRGINIA EDUCATION COMMISSION, WE HAVE MEMBERS OF THE VEA, THANK YOU ALL AND ALL THE SPONSORS, LET HAVE ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THEM. [APPLAUSE] I EXPECT YOU’VE HEARD ALREADY TODAY THAT 10,000 PARTICIPANTS, MORE THAN 10,000 PARTICIPANTS AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THIS WONDERFUL COMPETITION, CELEBRATING POETRY, HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE TO LOVE POETRY AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS, HELPING THEM WITH THEIR ANALYTICAL SKIES, ORAL PRESENTATION SKILLS AS YOU SAW BY THE AMAZING WORK YOU HEARD TODAY, THEIR CREATIVITY, FEEDING THEIR SOULS, ALL OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, ARTS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR EDUCATION PROCESS AND IT IS ONE THAT IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF STANDARDIZED TESTING GETS LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SHOW UP ON STANDARDIZED TESTS BUT IT DOES SHOW UP, THESE SKILLS YOU ARE WORKING ON TODAY SHOW UP IN ALL KIND OF WAYS INCLUDING YOUR SUCCESS IN LIFE. WHAT YOU LEARN THROUGH SELF-CONFIDENCE, THROUGH ABILITY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF AND THROUGH THE — WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO IMPROVE YOUR MIND WILL SERVE YOU WELL THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE, THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING, THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO BE WITH YOU TODAY. [APPLAUSE] AND I GET TO STAY.>>THANK YOU MADAME SECRETARY. SECRETARY HOLTON WILL NOW PRESENT THE RUNNER-UP AND THE STATE CHAMPION AND GIVE THEM THEIR CERTIFICATES AS THEY ARE ANNOUNCED. THIS IS THE MOMENT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. I GET TO ANNOUNCE, STAND UP ALL THREE, ON THE STAGE, INTO THE LIGHT, SHINE IT ON THEM. OUR RUPEER UP IS MISS ISABELLE ANDREWS. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] THE WINNER IS AHKEI TOGUN. THANK YOU, BEN. CONGRATULATIONS, AHKEI. [APPLAUSE]>>YOU WILL REPRESENT THE STATE OF VIRGINIA AND WE ARE SO VERY PROUD OF YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY FOR POETRY OUT LOUD. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK AND WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME. [APPLAUSE]>>PRODUCTION FUNDING FOR POETRY OUT LOUD IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY THE VIRGINIA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION.>>IT’S AMAZING WHAT MY STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CAN ACCOMPLISH, THEIR PRIDE IS PRICELESS, THAT’S WHY I TEACH.>>BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE VIRGINIA EDUCATION SYSTEM BECAUSE A GOOD EDUCATION IS GOOD FOR EVERYBODY.>>AND BY THE VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS. A STATE AGENCY THAT SUPPORTS THE ARTS BY DISTRIBUTING GRANT FUNDING FOR NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION, EDUCATIONS ARTISTS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

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