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Douglas student competes April 28 in Washington, D.C., at Poetry Out Loud National Finals

03 30 15 Poetry Out Loud winner Dominique Groffman

April 14, 2015

Dominique Groffman, a senior at Douglas High School in Douglas County, will compete in the National Finals for Poetry Out Loud held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C. She is one of 53 finalists from a field of 365,000 who competed nationally. Groffman was named Nevada’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud State Champion at the 10th Annual Nevada State Finals March 14 at the Siena Hotel in downtown Reno.  Groffman recited “”Planetarium,” a poem by Adrienne Rich, “To Live with a Landscape,” by Constance Urdang, and “Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning,” a poem by Emily Bronte.

“The literary arts have always been a figure in the western landscape, so it’s no surprise that poetry resonates in the Silver State. Poetry Out Loud is a complex program to coordinate on a statewide basis, but its impact on our students is remarkable,” said Susan Boskoff, executive director of the council. “Parents, teachers and principals across this state deserve credit for insuring a next generation of readers, writers and thinkers.”

At the state finals, State Superintendent of Instruction Dale Erquiaga spoke to the students of the challenges he faced in school and how he overcame them.

Nearly 3,200 students competed in Nevada in 2015. As the state champion, Groffman received $1,000, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and $1,000 for her school for the purchase of poetry books and/or literary programming. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will give a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 prize for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  In Nevada, Poetry Out Loud is also a program of the Nevada Arts Council, presented in partnership with Sierra Arts Foundation, the Nevada Alliance for Arts Education, Nevada Department of Education, and the major sponsor is NV Energy. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The 53 champions will gather at the Poetry Out Loud semifinals on Tuesday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 8p.m. at Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. Nine finalists will advance to the National Finals from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.

Since the first national Poetry Out Loud contest in 2006, more than 3 million high school students have participated.

The entire semifinals and finals are available to watch online through a live, one-time only webcast or can be followed on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL15. For more information on the event, webcast, or viewing parties, visit or call 202-682-5606.