For the first time in its nine years, an Idahoan will compete at the finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to introduce high school students to the power of poetry as a literary and performance art.
Watch Savina Magdalena Barini’s semifinal performance below, thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts. She attends Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls.
You also can watch Savina compete at the Poetry Out Loud finals from 5-7 p.m. MDT on April 30 via webcast. The webcast starts at 4:30 p.m. when Savina and the other finalists will be interviewed.
They are competing for cash awards — $20,000 for first prize, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third. Each of the schools of the nine finalists receive $500 to purchase poetry books for its library.
Savina traveled to Washington, D.C., this week as one of 53 high school students from across the country and three U.S. territories to compete in reciting classic and contemporary poetry.
Savina prepared three poems — “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” by John Donne, “Passing” by Toi Derricotte and “I, Too” by Langston Hughes. She won the state competition run by the Idaho Commission on the Arts on March 9.
She not only recites poetry, Savina also writes it and is actively involved in musical theater and dance. Her goals include becoming a teaching theater artist.
The other eight finalists are from Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. Idaho has sent a student to Poetry Out Loud each year since it started in 2006.