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Local ‘Poetry Out Loud’ winner advances to state competition 

Alec Wingfield

Paso Robles High School student Alec Wingfield recently won a poetry competition.

Paso Robles High School junior Alec Wingfield will represent San Luis Obispo County at the California State “Poetry Out Loud” competition March 23-24 in Sacramento. Wingfield captured the title in front of a crowd of over 200 on February 6, 2014 at the County Competition.

Over 3,400 high school students participated across the county, with eight high schools sending their winners to the county competition. Mission College Preparatory High senior John Hollander captured runner-up honors. Atascadero High sophomore Lincoln Fang, Lopez High junior Nikki Pesce, Morro Bay High senior Jerome Andres, Nipomo High junior Jenna Clift, North County Christian senior Blake Marchell and San Luis Obispo High junior Krissie Miller also vied for the opportunity to advance to Sacramento.

“Poetry Out Loud” features students performing great works of poetry from memory. Contestants face a panel of judges who look for poise and self-confidence in addition to recitation skills. Local winners move on to perform at the state level, culminating with the possibility of participating in the national competition in Washington, D.C. in late April.

SLO County’s 2014 judges were Jon Margerum-Leys, Ashley Schwellenbach, John Stipicevich, and Bettina Swigger. Kathy Henderson served as accuracy judge and Will Jones acted as prompter.

ARTS Obispo also conducts a design contest each year to encourage middle and high school graphic design students to participate in the program. This year Carlos Torres, an eighth grade student from Santa Lucia Middle School and the YMCA Youth Institute in Cambria, provided the winning entry. Carlos’ design was used in all of the San Luis Obispo County Poetry Out Loud marketing materials.

“Poetry Out Loud” is supported by ARTS Obispo, California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Poetry Foundation.


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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.