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'Poetry Out Loud' winners named

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Helen Bansen, a senior at Truckee High School, took first place in the Placer County “Poetry Out Loud” competition held Feb. 18 at the State Theater in Auburn. Skyler Sousa, a senior at Colfax High School, was named runner-up. 

Helen was one of thousands of students across the state to participate in the national recitation contest, a program run by the California Arts Council in the state and started by the National Endowment for the Arts to engage high-school students in the presentation of poetry through memorization and performance. 

Helen advances to the California state finals in Sacramento on March 25-26. 

Twelve students from six local high schools participated in the 2012 regional finals, presented by PlacerArts. 

Other participants were last year’s winner, Charet Bolton, and two other Roseville High School students, Zayna Thomas and Ruhi Radke; Gabi Roberts, Colfax High; Tyler Donaldson, Victory High School; Athena Velasco and Regina Frank, Horizon Charter Schools; Calvin Brady and Karlie Mohun, Truckee High; and Kiersten Hammond, Del Oro High School.

Judges for the Placer County finals were Pierre Butler, slam poet and visual artist; Susan Rushton, journalist; and John Bowen, poet and writer. Rick Brown, retired Colfax High School teacher, acted as emcee.

For more information, visit www.cac.ca.gov or www.poetryoutloud.org.