You just might spot Natalie Merchant in your wanderings around the District today.
She and some other special guests are in town for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Poetry Foundation’s announcement of the 2009 National Finals of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.
Twelve of the 53 state champions will advance to compete in the National Finals on Tuesday, April 28. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will award a total of $50,000 in scholarship prizes and school stipends. Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant will give a special performance of poetry-inspired songs. Special guest judges include radio personality Garrison Keillor, actress Tyne Daly, poets Patricia Smith and Luis Rodriguez. Scott Simon of National Public Radio will serve as master of ceremonies.