In the Spotlight

Kristen Dupard of Mississippi is the 2012 POL Champ

From a competitive field of some 365,000 students nationwide, Kristen Dupard, a senior at Ridgeland High School in Ridgeland, Mississippi, won the title of 2012 Poetry Out Loud National Champion at the National Finals held in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. With her achievement, Dupard also received a $20,000 award and her high school, Ridgeland High School, received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

The second-place winner in the 2012 Poetry Out Loud national competition was Claude Mumbere of Burlington, Vermont, who received a $10,000 award. MarKaye Hassan of Logan, Utah, received the third-place prize and a $5,000 award.

In addition, the 4th – 9th place finalists each received a $1,000 award, and their schools received $500 each for the purchase of poetry books. The other finalists were Samuel Opoku (Thornton, CO); Gwen Morrison (Marshalltown, IA); Russell Heitman (Hebron, NE); Jessica Kariisa (Raleigh, NC); Daphnee R. McMaster (Reading, PA); and Langston Ward (Spokane, WA). 

Read more about the 2012 POL National Finals here.

2012 Poetry Out Loud National Finals

Today 53 state champions and their supporters will descend upon Washington, DC, for the 2012 Poetry Out National Finals. The competition gets underway on Monday, May 14 at 9 am (EST) with three rounds of semifinals. The main event will be at 7 pm (EST) on Tuesday, May 15th. 

Once again this year, both the semifinals and the finals can be viewed remotely through a one-time-only live webcast.  Also, be sure to follow Poetry Out Loud on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POLnews.  

Find out who your state champion is here

Find out more about the National Finals schedule here