Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Buffalo student is Poetry Out Loud winner

Photo by Gary Schoene, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources

Caila Booth (shown above at left with her mother), a senior at Buffalo High School, was named winner of the 2008 Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition today in Cheyenne. At the awards ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, she was presented a certificate and $200 by Wyoming State Auditor Rita Meyer and State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Milward Simpson. Caila's school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books for its library. She will travel to Washington, D.C., April 27-29 to represent Wyoming in the national Poetry Out Loud finals.

The contest's runner-up was Carey Junior High ninth-grader Xon Adams. He received a certificate and $100; his school library will receive a stipend to buy $200 in poetry books.

The competition was held Monday evening at the Historic Plains Hotel. Other performers were Thomas Wells from Star Valley High School in Afton, Danielle Then from Guernsey-Sunrise High School, Tom Powers from Cheyenne East, and Sienna White from Cody High School.

Judges were performer and playwright Bob Berky of Jackson, cowboy poet and state legislator Sue Wallis from Recluse, and Damien Kortum of Cheyenne, who teaches composition and creative writing at Laramie County Community College. Accuracy judge was Marcia Dunsmore of Four Corners, who also directs Poetry Out Loud for the Arts Council.

This is the second year in a row that a student from Buffalo has won the Wyoming contest.

Poetry Out Loud is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Wyoming Arts Council is the state sponsor. If your school is interested in competing in the program's next round, contact the WAC's Mike Shay at 307-777-5234.