Bishop, CA 2/20/18— Freshman Samantha Burns, from Bishop Union High School, received the title of 2018 Inyo County Poetry Out Loud Champion at the county finals held in Bishop on February 15, 2018. The runner-up was senior Grace Morisset, from Owens Valley High School.  

This was the eighth year that Inyo Council for the Arts has hosted Poetry Out Loud, which is sponsored by Inyo County Superintendent of Schools, California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Poetry Foundation. Retired English teacher, Harold McDonald, worked in Inyo County schools, with teachers and students to implement the curriculum and mentor the student competitors.  

At the county finals, Poetry Out Loud contestants performed works they selected from an anthology of more than 650 classic and contemporary poems. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.  Samantha’s recitations of “Equus Caballus” by Joel Nelson and “Always Something More Beautiful” by Stephen Dunn were full of expression. The students’ performances were judged on criteria including presence, evidence of understanding, dramatic performance, and accuracy.

Burns moves on to compete in Sacramento March 18th and 19th, representing Inyo County in the California State Championship.   The California State Champion will compete for the national title in Washington, D.C. in April. For more information about how to follow this exciting national competition, including live streaming of the state finals, visit www.inyo.org.