Local students to compete in Poetry Out Loud

Also, a call goes out for library books and Ruth Armstrong shows her art in Cambria

Special to The TribuneJanuary 18, 2013 

Catherine Hall, then a senior at Mission Prep, was the 2010 winner of Poetry Out Loud.


Arts Obispo, aka San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, is taking part in Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation contest for high school students.

Created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the contest is organized in partnership with the California Arts Council and local arts advocacy agencies. Six area high school champions will compete from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 at San Luis Coastal Adult School, 1500 Lizzie St., Room J2 in San Luis Obispo.

Only one will advance to Sacramento.

A panel will listen to two poems from each student and judge them on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.

Sounds like painting pictures with words to me.

Arturo Gonzalez, a Coast Union High School student, won the Poetry Out Loud postcard design competition. Arts Obispo staff especially liked his “crunched paper” design.

• • •

Speaking of Coast Union High School in Cambria, its library media specialist is looking for books about art, crafts and famous artists, especially biographies.

“I am trying to avoid the hugely over-sized, extremely outdated and black and white books,” says Shannon Jackson. If you’ve got some suitable donations give her a call at 924-2800, send an email to sjackson@coastusd.org or drop them off at the high school.

Jackson’s comment reminds me of a recent conversation with a friend who was in the middle of a big library weeding project in Morro Bay. Library staff routinely withdraw books to make room for new titles and sometimes find a few in the nooks and crannies that should have been weeded years ago. My friend said a few of her finds were perfect for AwfulLibraryBooks.net, a humorous blog maintained by a couple of Michigan public librarians.

Awful library books are often easily identified by their out-of-date subject material, ridiculous photos and lack of general interest.

If some of the books featured in the blog aren’t art, then that wasn’t Burt Reynolds wearing a football jersey and nothing else that I saw from 1972’s “Burt Reynolds Hotline: The Letters I Get … and Write!”

• • •

I’d rather see one of the hairy creatures in Ruth Armstrong’s January exhibit at Cambria Library. Her selection of etchings and woodcut prints includes 26 laughing animal portraits, each representing a letter of the alphabet.

The Cambria artist earned her bachelor of fine arts from California College of Arts and Crafts in the Bay Area and has shown her work in Oakland Museum and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Sales will benefit the Friends of the Cambria Library. Visit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane2000@yahoo.com.

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