California Arts Council

State of California
Congratulations, Corbin!
Corbin Schaefer Gomez of El Dorado County places higher than any previous California competitor in the nationals
Published: 05-17-2012

Corbin Schaefer Gomez, California's representative in the National Poetry Out Loud Competition and a student from El Dorado County, received an Honorable Mention as one of the highest scoring contestants in the 17-state region that included our state. This is the highest honor ever bestowed on a California Poetry Out Loud champion. 

As winner of the California Poetry Out Loud competition in March, Corbin, a student at Oak Ridge High School, received an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the National Finals. He was among the 53 Poetry Out Loud champions (from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) who participated in the 2012 National Finals of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. These accomplished reciters were culled from 365,000 participating high school students from throughout the nation.

Said Corbin, "Poetry Out Loud facilitates the ability of an ordinary person like me to experience something truly extraordinary."

Held in Washington, DC on May 14-15, 2012, the national poetry recitation contest was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The California Arts Council has been managing the state's Poetry Out Loud competitions since 2006.

The Poetry Out Loud National Finals were judged by special guests including host of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac Garrison Keillor, poets Marilyn Chin and Major Jackson, senior correspondent and regular co-anchor of PBS NewsHour Jeffrey Brown, and Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America Alice Quinn. They evaluated the students' performances based on criteria including physical presence, voice and articulation, accuracy, and evidence of understanding. Among the poems Corbin presented for the National Finals were The Pomegranate and the Big Crowd by Alberto Rios and What Work Is by Phillip Levine. 

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. At the National Finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends was distributed.

More on California's Poetry Out Loud competition.
More on the National Poetry Out Loud competition.

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