Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"Poetry Out Loud" has a local winner, and excites students across the state

Amador High School student Poetry Out Loud county champion goes to statewide competition in Sacramento
Hailey Dacier
SUTTER CREEK, CA—Hailey Dacier, a sophomore at Amador High School took first place in the 2018 countywide Poetry Out Loud competition on February 5 at The Hotel Sutter. Since then, Dacier represented Amador County at the March 18, 19 State Finals in Sacramento. Although the judges chose another young poet to represent the Golden State in the national finals, April 23-25 in Washington, D.C., it was reported that the county finalists, like Hailey Dacier, were no doubt the stars, and not only for their onstage presence. Their enthusiasm for one another out of the spotlight was all the more extraordinary.
Dacier enthused: “Poetry Out Loud is a wonderful organization and their purpose of bringing the arts to all students is beautiful.”

She recited “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman, and “Snowflake” by William Baer. These poems, according to Dacier, emphasize elements in nature, such as snowflakes and stars, that are simply perfect and untainted by human flaw or influence. “I connected with how these poets reflected the true beauty in the world in such descriptive language and emotion," she said.

This year’s competition was the 13th production from the California Arts Council and the second one for AmadorArts. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

To Dacier, the competition was inspiring to see because all the students were incredibly talented and passionate. “I was humbled to see how much talent resides in California alone, and it was an honor to be able to perform in such beautiful venues as the Assembly Hall and Crest Theatre," she said. "I am thankful to have been a part of Poetry Out Loud, and I will always cherish the experience.”

She thanks her friends Raven, Amy, Brinley, and Skylar for encouraging her to enter the competition. She has played piano for 10 years, as well as the ukulele, and she sings. She’s already been in seven plays. Passionate about school, she aims to attend a university. Besides describing herself as hardworking and committed to goals, she is a strong supporter of sarcasm and humor. She loves laughing and making others laugh.

Back to poetry, she says, “Being able to connect with a poem and express my emotions through it is a beautiful experience. I am so thankful to have poetry and the arts in my life.”

California’s Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. and is a statewide combined effort—this year involving the participation of 46 counties and 261 schools, the encouragement of 783 teachers, and the dedication of 30,000 students.

Anne Bown-Crawford, Director of the California Arts Council, comments, “It is rewarding to see confidence and creativity ignite so powerfully in each of our county champions. The program is truly a testament to arts education as a categorical imperative for the future successes of both our students and our state.”
For more information on Poetry Out Loud, visit: http://www.poetryoutloud.org/

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