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Volume 24, Number 4 — April 2017

Knoxville Student Wins Poetry Out Loud State Final

From left are Rich Boyd, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission; Stacey Padilla, winner of the competition; and Lee Baird, director of the literary arts program for the Arts Commission.
From left are Rich Boyd, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission; Stacey Padilla, winner of the competition; and Lee Baird, director of the literary arts program for the Arts Commission.
Additional photos below »

Johnson City Student is Runner-Up

March 16, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Hardin Valley Academy High School student Stacey Padilla took top honors Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Tennessee's state final for Poetry Out Loud.

The competition, hosted by the Tennessee Arts Commission, was held at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville. Padilla performed Dream Song 14 by John Berrymore, Sympathy by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Sugar Dada by J. Allyn Rosser.

Poetry Out Loud is a program sponsored nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. Organized along the lines of the national spelling bee, Poetry Out Loud promotes competitions at the high school level throughout the country, with local winners going on to state finals, and from there to the national championship competition. The program encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

As the first place winner in Tennessee, Padilla will receive a $200 prize check and an all-expense-paid trip to compete at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. on April 28, 2009. Her school, Hardin Valley Academy High School in Knoxville, will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

Katherine Benson from University High School in Johnson City, Tenn. was the runner-up in the competition. Her school will also receive $500 for poetry books.




Katherine Benson (center), a freshman at University High School in Johnson City, Tenn., was the runner-up in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud. The poems she selected to perform included "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou and "To A Mouse" by Robert Burns. Photo courtesy of the Tennessee Arts Commission.