Levi Lowe represents California at NEA Poetry Out Loud Semifinals

High school senior Levi Lowe approached the microphone. Standing tall under bright lights, in a low and steady tone, he began:

I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions
that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings
and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance
displaying their capital letters like license plates.

The 17-year-old made Sonora High School and California proud last night, performing on the national stage of the Poetry Out Loud competition for a second time (his first was in 2015). The National Endowment for the Arts program inspires students’ interest in poetry while increasing self-confidence and developing public speaking skills.

At this year’s semifinals, held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Levi recited “The Death of Allegory” by Billy Collins and “Chorus Sacerdotum” by Baron Brooke Fulke Greville. With conscious gestures and telling looks, he conveyed his authors’ meanings through action as well as words.

Though he won’t be moving on to the finals this evening, it was no easy feat to have made it this far. To earn his place in the national contest, Levi first had to beat out more than 35,000 of his fellow students here in California, the biggest state poetry competition of its kind nationwide.

“To win—not once but twice—with such a large number of students in such a highly competitive event is a testament to Levi’s talents for spoken word. His delivery is captivating and we are proud to have been represented by him,” said Ayanna Kiburi, Interim Director of the California Arts Council.

Well done, Levi!

3 thoughts on “Levi Lowe represents California at NEA Poetry Out Loud Semifinals

  1. Pingback: Why we’re thankful for the arts – 4 benefits, many blogs – The Blog: California Arts Council

  2. Michele Krueger

    As a poet teacher working with California Poets in the Schools, I have seen first hand the amazing impact of Poetry Out Loud on high school students. This program brings the beauty and nuance of classic and contemporary poetry into the classroom and onto the tongues of thousands of young people every year, enriching their hearts! Thank you CAC and Dana Goia!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. elizanevadacountyartsorg

    Fantastic – well done Levi, and well done California Arts Council for doing such a great job with Poetry Out Loud. It’s particularly meaningful, too, that Dana Gioia is California Poet Laureate now – we are all very proud to be part of this picture…

    Liked by 1 person

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