Bloomington High School South Senior selected 2017 Poetry Out Loud State Champion

IAC-Press Release

March 2, 2017


Rex Van Zant

Director of Marketing and Communications


Bloomington High School South Senior selected as 2017 Poetry Out Loud State Champion

(Indianapolis, Indiana) The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) and the Indiana State Library (ISL) announced today that Shelby Newland earned the honor of being named the 2017 Poetry Out Loud Indiana State Champion.

Newland, a senior at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Indiana, qualified for the national finals by winning the Indiana State Poetry Out Loud competition held February 18, 2017 at the Indianapolis Public Library Central Branch.

"Shelby's recitation conveyed a thorough knowledge and comprehension of each of her chosen works," said Wendy Knapp, Indiana Poetry Out Loud state coordinator. "She cultivated a genuine connection with the audience as she invited them to share in her understanding and not just observe. We are honored to have Shelby representing the Hoosier state at the Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C."

Newland will compete against representatives from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the national Poetry Out Loud title April 25 - 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The event will be held at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. The semifinals and finals will be webcast live. The Midwest and South Central round, which includes Indiana, will be held on April 25, 2017, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

In addition to the Washington, D.C. trip, Newland also earned a $200 cash prize and $500 for her school to be used to purchase poetry books.

Now celebrating its 12th year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering education materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. The national finals are a culmination of a year-long poetry education program involving some 365,000 students, 9,000 teachers and 2,300 high schools across the country. For more information, visit

The Indiana Arts Commission is dedicated to the vision of the arts everywhere, every day, for everyone in Indiana.