For Immediate Release                                                   
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Sharron Rudowski
(205) 345-9801


(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center was the setting for the District 3 Poetry Out Loud regional finals on Nov. 14, 2017 for West-Central Alabama students. Prior to this final round in Tuscaloosa, the students participated in a primary competition at their respective high schools.

Poetry Out Loud is a competition that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, POL was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. POL has grown every year with over 365,000 students competing.

Students competing in the District 3 POL program were eligible to compete in the national/anthology portion of the program, the original poetry portion or both. The Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsored the original poetry competition. Traveling to Montgomery, Ala. in 2018, the winners in both the recitation and original poetry portions will compete in the state-wide competition. Winners in the national/anthology portion will then have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a final round.

Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa.

Winner in the Anthology category:

1-Amaria Dozier

Winners in the Original Poetry category:

1-Emma Camp, Alabama School of Fine Arts
2-Emma Beeler, Tuscaloosa County High School
3-Ashley Tate, Alabama School of Fine Arts
4-Rachel Moran, Montevallo High School
5-Zachary Jones, Tuscaloosa County High School

Judges for the day were John Paul Taylor, Executive Director, Real Life Poets, Inc. and Brian Oilu, Instructor of Composition, Literature and Creative Writing and also Director of Slash Pine Press at The University of Alabama. Martie Sample served as Accuracy Judge, Kevin Ledgewood was Prompter and Paula Demonbraun was scorekeeper for the competition. The Region 3 Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud is Sharron Rudowski.

The District 3 participants’ original poetry will be featured in a Slash Pine Press publication to be released in 2018. Slash Pine Press, based at The University of Alabama, produces limited-run chapbooks of poetry and other mixed-genre works, and occasionally hosts off-the-beaten-path reading events, including the Slash Pine Poetry Festival held at the end of April. Through this program, undergraduate students conceive and execute their own notions of book design, imagine and locate their own spaces for engaged performance, and form and upload their own versions of a relevant internet presence.

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or CAC, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.