Local student named Poetry Out Loud State Champion

(Fremont County, WY) – Wyoming’s Annual Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Competition took place virtually on Monday, March 7th.

High school students from across the state competed for a $200 prize, a $500 stipend for their school to purchase poetry books, and a place in the national competition. Bailee Vargas became Wyoming’s 2022 State Champion. Vargas is a senior at the Fremont County Homeschool Group.

“POL allows me to bring poems to life. It gives me the platform to capture the depth of a poem’s meaning and express it in a natural and captivating way.  One of the most enjoyable parts of participating in Poetry Out Loud is expressing the meaning of a poem through recitation,” said Vargas. 

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She will go on to represent Wyoming during the virtual National Finals. State Runner-up was: Sidni Tryon and Third Place went to Briley Farris.

Judging criteria included physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Judges were Anne Marie Wells, Matt Daly, Lori Pusateri-Lane, and Chad Hanson.

POL is a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Developed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, POL is a free contest for high-school students (grades 9-12) in both public and private schools.

It serves every state and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The Wyoming Arts Council is proud to support and administer this program in the Cowboy State.

Participating schools were Lovell High School, Cheyenne East High School, Fremont County Homeschool Group, Whiting High School, Buffalo High School, and Moorcroft High School.

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