East Lansing hosts the Poetry Out Loud Michigan championship

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By Dominique Oden
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

Roses are red, violets are blue, and Poetry Out Loud is coming to a city near you.

This year’s Poetry Out Loud Championship will be hosted in East Lansing on Feb. 22 and 23. This program is open to the public and will take place at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center starting at 1 p.m. on the 22nd and at 9 a.m. on the 23rd.

Kate Bartig, Communications Officer of the Michigan Humanities Council.

Kate Bartig, Communications Officer of the Michigan Humanities Council.

“It is a statewide competition that currently has 50 schools involved with 37 students participating and it gets slightly higher every year,” said Kate Bartig, communications officer at the Michigan Humanities Council.

The council is one of the few organizations that participates in the poetry program, keeping poetry alive across the wolverine state.

Poetry Out Loud is a free program for high schools that began in 2005. Bartig said, “The only requirements are that the participant is in high school and their high school is a part of the program.” The applicants are notified in the later summer if they are chosen.

The state winner receives a $200 award including an all paid trip to the national poetry competition in Washington, D.C. in late April. The winner’s school receives a book stipend of $500. The state runner-up receives $100 and their school receives a $200 book stipend.

The winner of the national finals and three other participants will get to perform their winning poems at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in May. The winner will obtain a scholarship worth $20,000 and the additional three will receive a partial scholarship.

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