Poetry Out Loud – Hawai‘i 2015
2015 Poetry Out Loud State Finals
From a competitive field of 13 public, private and home schooled students, Ari Dalbert won the 2015 Poetry Out Loud state finals held at Tenney Theater Sunday, February 22, 2015.
Dalbert’s final recitation was “Monstrance Man,” a poem by Ricardo PauLlosa. He also recited William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 55: Not marble nor the guilded monuments,” and “Old Men Playing Basketball,” by B.H. Fairchild.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partnered with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and Honolulu Theatre for Youth to support 2015 Poetry Out Loud, a free high school program which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.
For his efforts, Dalbert, who is home schooled, will receive $200 and an allexpense paid trip (with a chaperone) to the 10th Poetry Out Loud National Finals which will take place April 28-29, 2015, at the Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University in Washington, DC.
A national title comes with a $20,000 award.
This program helps high school students master public speaking skills, build selfconfidence, learn about their literary heritage, and compete for more than $100,000 in awards.
The students must stand alone inside a 2 foot by 2 foot square taped to the stage floor under bright, hot lights during their recitation. If they get a single word wrong or miss a line, points are deducted from their total.
After the event, Dalbert said he has no idea how tough the competition will be on a national level, but he is looking forward to the event.
“I’m very thankful for the win,” Dalbert said. “In D.C. I’ll really get to experience poetry.”
Jordan Klein of Trinity Christian School took second place and a $100 prize with $200 going to his school to purchase poetry books.
Gabrielle Bartolome from Kohala High School took third place.
Other finalists included Shade Au of MidPacific Institute; Seema Marahatta of Kauai High School; Erica Ito of Punahou School; Charis Ahn of Kaimuki Christian School; Kaili Kaalekahi of Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Campus; Jeyci L. Kaili of Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii High School; Jamie Burns of Parker School; Jade Murphy of Island School; Alyssa Manley of Le Jardin Academy; and Jayde Fernandez of Lanai High School.
Former MidPacific Institute student Kellie Anae, who took third place nationally in 2006, now helps to coach young students. The competition helped her earn a scholarship to Louisiana State University.
“When I went to D.C. it was like a whirlwind tour,” Anae said. “I had about one hour in the Smithsonian. This event helps young voices come alive through poetry.”
In order to compete, schools must register and all materials and resources are provided. Using a pyramid structure, Poetry Out Loud starts with classroom and schoolwide activities and contests before moving on to the nationals. The 53 champions of contests in every state, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC, compete at the National Finals.