For Immediate Release

February 13, 2013

Contact: Carol O'Sullivan



Pittsburgh, PA - Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts announces the winner of the 2013 Regional Contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The student winner is Anna Voelker from Hampton High School in Allison Park, PA.
The competition, presented in partnership with the PA Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school student to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. On February 9, 2013 five high school students, junior Anna Voelker from Hampton High School, senior Mark McFeely from Charleroi Area High School, sophomore Jenny Guest from Avonworth High School, sophomore Drew Praskovich from Pittsburgh CAPA, and junior Carolyn Zsamboky from Trinity High School, participated in the Regional Poetry Out Loud Contest held at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room.
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. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional competition, then to a state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. Some 365,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools nationwide took part in the
2011-2012 Poetry Out Loud program.
At the high school level students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 650 classic and contemporary poems. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy. Teachers introduced poetry recitation in the classroom using materials created by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, including a standards-based Teacher's Guide, a website, a Learning Recitation DVD, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins and Rita Dove.
At the regional competition, held at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room, Anna Voelker recited "Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye, "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold, and "I Am Offering this Poem" by Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Regional Winner Anna Voelker will be competing in Pennsylvania's state competition to be held at the Governor's Residence in Harriburg on March 11, 2013. Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship, April 29-30, 2013. The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
To learn more about Pennsylvania's Poetry Out Loud contest, contact Gayle Cluck
at (717-793-1368) or visit
Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PF/PCA) is committed to the artist and the advancement of artistic excellence in visual arts - specifically film, digital video, photography, media, and fine and creative arts and crafts; the provision of equipment and facilities for artists; the conduct of instructional programs; and the stimulation of public understanding and awareness through exhibitions, demonstrations, and sales.
School & Community Programs at PF/PCA is dedicated to bringing high quality arts services to tens of thousands of participants at schools, nonprofit service agencies, and community organizations working with both children and adults in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties through our Partnership with the Arts in Education division of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.. Our programs are designed to place trained, knowledgeable, and practicing artists into school and community settings where they can share the benefits of the creative process with students, teachers, and administrators. PF/PCA places great emphasis on recruiting professional, trained, practicing artists to work in our programs as part of the partnership mission. Artists are accepted into the program based on the quality of their artwork, their familiarity with best practices in arts in education and community artmaking, and their abilities as communicators/educators/facilitators.