Poetry, loud and proud

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Bobby Ellis
bobby.ellis@education.ky.gov

Students from across the state traveled to the Grand Theatre in Frankfort March 7 to take part in the state finals of Poetry Out Loud. The national event was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is administered in the Commonwealth by the Kentucky Arts Council. 

“Poetry just lets me be the person I am,” said Frances Dougherty, of Central Hardin High School. “I’m kind of a quirky person, and poetry lets me express that and show who I am.” 

Dougherty and 20 other high school students competed for a chance to travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national competition. 

Grant County High School senior Haley Bryan won the competition, reading “Hap” by Thomas Hardy. Bryan is a two-time champion, having also won the state competition in 2015. 

“It makes me feel really popular,” said Bryan. “Everyone is like ‘You’re the girl who won two years ago, right?’ and I say ‘Yeah.’ But for me it’s not about winning. I just like poetry.” 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Poetry Out Loud contest, visit the Poetry Out Loud website or the Kentucky Arts Council website.

Taylor Edwards, of Marshall County High School, performs during the Poetry Out Loud Kentucky State Finals. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Taylor Edwards, of Marshall County High School, performs at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort during the Poetry Out Loud Kentucky State Finals. Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Reid Nuckolls, of Moore Traditional School (Jefferson County), performs for judges and for the crowd during the Poetry Out Loud Kentucky State Finals. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Reid Nuckolls, of Moore Traditional School (Jefferson County), performs for judges and for the crowd during the Poetry Out Loud Kentucky State Finals at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Each contestant read two poems, with five finalists being named to compete in a final round. 
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Alyssa Wray, of Boyle County High School, stands on stage with her fellow poets as she competes in the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Alyssa Wray, of Boyle County High School, stands on stage with her fellow poets as she competes in the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Twenty-one students from across the state traveled to the event to compete for a chance to represent Kentucky at the national competition in Washington, D.C. 
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Alisabeth Culp, of McCracken County High School, performs during the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Alisabeth Culp, of McCracken County High School, performs during the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud. 
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Frances Dougherty, of Central Hardin High School, performs during Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. The program was put on by the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Frances Dougherty, of Central Hardin High School (Hardin County), performs during Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, with the Commonwealth’s competition being administered by the Kentucky Arts Council.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Caroline Handshoe, of George Rogers Clark High School, performs for judges during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Caroline Handshoe, of George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County), performs for judges during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Haley Bryan, a senior at Grant County High School, performs during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Bryan was named the winner of the competition and will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Finals. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Haley Bryan, a senior at Grant County High School, performs during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Bryan was named the winner of the competition and will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Finals.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Haley Bryan, a senior at Grant County High School, performs during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Bryan was named the winner of the competition and will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Finals. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017
Haley Bryan, a senior at Grant County High School, performs during the second round of the Kentucky State Finals of Poetry Out Loud.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 7, 2017

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