This year’s Tuolumne County Poetry Out Loud Contest was held February 8 at the Fallon House Theater in Columbia. Nine contestants from three county high schools competed. Each participant recited from memory two poems selected from the Poetry Out Loud website, including one that was written before 1900 and one that was fewer than 25 lines long.
The participants were Alissa DeAnda, Valerie Harris, and Lindsey Holland from Summerville, Carmela David, Hannah Husher, Om Patel, and Sarai Saucedo from Sono-ra, and Dana Brandau and Isabelle Cook from Tioga. Five students–DeAnda, David, Harris, Holland, and Husher– were selected for the final round, during which each recit-ed a third poem.
Alissa DeAnda is the county winner and Lindsey Holland is the runner-up. DeAnda will submit a video recitation as part of the state contest, in which she will represent Tuolumne County. This year’s state and national competitions will be held virtually. De-Anda recited “Diameter” by Michelle Y. Burke, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, and “Cartoon Physics, Part 1” by Nick Flynn. The winner of the state contest will ad-vance to the nationals.
Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest that operates under the um-brella of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the California Arts Council, and the Tuolumne County Arts Association.