Oklahoma State Poetry Out Loud winner Kristine Guerrero from Lawton High School

Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and the Oklahoma Arts Council


Kristine Guerrero as the 2017 POETRY OUT LOUD STATE CHAMPION

Oklahoma City, OK — From a competitive field of more than 1800 students across the state, Kristine Guerrero from Lawton High School, won the title of 2017 Poetry Out Loud Oklahoma State Champion at the state finals held in Oklahoma City on March 11th. The first runner-up was Piper Lloyd from Bethany High School.

Kristine Guerrero’s final recitation was Holy Sonnets: Death be not proud by John Donne.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. More than 315,000 students from 2,300 high schools took part in the 2015–2016 Poetry Out Loud program.

At the state finals in Oklahoma City, Poetry Out Loud contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. The online anthology, a website (poetryoutloud.org), a teacher’s guide, posters, and media samples of poetry recitation were created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation as free educational resources for high school students and teachers.

The Oklahoma State Champion, Kristine Guerrero received an award of $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. Kristine's school received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. First runner-up Piper Lloyd received $100, with $200 for her school library. 

Guest judges presided over the competition, including Tracy Floreani, Professor of English at Oklahoma City University;  Lawrence Baines, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Oklahoma and Anastasia Wickham Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.  Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including physical presence, evidence of understanding, and accuracy.

Poetry Out Loud encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. To find out how to get involved in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, visit poetryoutloud.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit arts.gov.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org

About Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park:
Founded in 1985 by Executive Director Kathryn McGill and the late Jack O'Meara, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park has been bringing first-rate professional productions of Shakespeare and the classics to life in Central Oklahoma for 31 seasons. This season's shows will be performed outdoors in downtown OKC at the Myriad Gardens Water Stage and at OSP's new studio space in the historic Paseo Arts District. The organization's educational outreach programs help Shakespeare come alive for students and teachers in classrooms throughout the state. OSP is supported by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Devon Energy, Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation, Allied Arts, The Inasmuch Foundation, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, OCCF, Bank of Oklahoma, and Citizens Bank of Edmond.  Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park is a proud member of Actors' Equity.
Media Contact
Contact: Michael Gibbons