Judah Lovato, a senior at Arvada-Clearmont High School in Sheridan County, was named state champion at the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud finals March 2 in Cheyenne. He will receive an expenses-paid trip with a chaperone to Washington, D.C., for the Poetry Out Loud national finals April 26-27.
Second place went to Laura Hofstad, a student at Star Lane Center in Casper.
The awards were presented by First Lady Nancy Freudenthal and Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield at a March 2 ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda. Master of ceremonies for the event was Milward Simpson, director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
First-place finisher also receives $200 and a selection of books. His school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Second-place finisher receives $100 and a selection of books. Her school receives a $200 stipend to buy poetry books.
Lovato, Hofstad and nine other students competed in the state finals March 1 at the Historic Atlas Theatre in downtown Cheyenne. They were Julia Collins, Dubois; Laura Delgado, Big Piney; Jamie Fegler, Riverton; Sadie Fulton, Whiting High School in Laramie; Abigail Geringer, Wheatland; Jamie Johnson, Lyman; Paige Russell, East High School, Cheyenne; Gwen Withem, Buffalo; and Samantha Wittig, Jackson.
Judges for the March 1 competition were Max Maxfield of Cheyenne, actor and director Macey Mott from Jackson, and award-winning author and UW professor of science and humanities Jeff Lockwood of Laramie.
Special guests were Wyoming Poet Laurate David Romtvedt and Laura Scanlan, director of State & Regional Partnerships for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wyoming Arts Council's federal partner in Washington, D.C.
The Wyoming Arts Council invites high school students involved in creative writing, drama, and speech-and-debate to encourage their teachers to sign up for next year's Poetry Out Loud program. The WAC will send out registration information in September 2010.
For more information, contact Linda Coatney at the WAC at 307-777-6393 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about Poetry Out Loud at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/.