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Announcing Alaska Regional Finalists for AK State Poetry Out Loud Finals

Juneau, Alaska—The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and Alaska State Council on the Arts announce the state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Nine students from across Alaska will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals. Participants are Kaylee Miltersen from Anchorage, Kendra Fleharty from Unalakleet, Lakeidra D. Chavis from Fairbanks, Katrina Greenleaf from Juneau, Trevor Pruitt from Ketchikan, Erica Kelly from Delta Junction, Whitney Winders from the Matsu Valley, Kirsten Rawding from Thorne Bay and Jess Andersen from Unalaska. The winner will then head off on an all expenses paid trip to Washington DC to represent Alaska in the national finals for a chance to be the national champion and receive a $20,000 scholarship. There were over 4,700 students from over 900 classrooms around the state involved in Poetry Out Loud this year. The Poetry Out Loud Alaska finals will take place on February 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The master of ceremonies will be Deborah Smith. Guest judges for the event include: Sherry Simpson (well-known writer raised in Juneau, Alaska), Derrick Burlson (University of Alaska at Fairbanks professor, NEA fellow in Poetry and published poet), Dave Kiffer (Poet from Ketchikan and also the Mayor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough), Seth Kantner (commercial fisherman and best selling author of Ordinary Wolves), and Richard Dauenhauer (UAS professor, translator, from 1981-88 7th Poet Laureate of Alaska). The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the state finals, contact the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council at (907)586-ARTS (-2787) or visit www.jahc.org.

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