On February 12th the Poetry Out Loud Mendocino County Finals were held in Point Arena at the Arena Theater.

Charlie Mitchell of Pacific Community Charter High School, as well as Moniques Nguyen and Sola Long of Developing Virtue Girls School in Talmage, and Frankie Turlow of Point Arena High School recited poems from memory. Mendocino County's winner was Moniques Nguyen of DVGS, who recited The Obligation to Be Happy, by Linda Pastan and Broken Promises by David Kirby. She will advance to the statewide finals organized by the California Arts Council, which will take place March 10-11 in Sacramento.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our all schools, countywide slam scheduled for 4pm on Tuesday, April 30th at Matheson Performing Arts Center in Mendocino.

The Coastal Slam / Poetry Out Loud event was sponsored by the Mendocino County Office of Education, Arts Council of Mendocino County, California Poets in the Schools, the California Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts with the generous support of the Arena Theater, Surf Supermarket & the Arena Market & Cafe.

Thank you to all who came out in support of youth poetry! Extra thanks go to Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Blake More, the Arena Theater, Lelia Carpenter and Rufus Savage-Friedman (for lights, sound & pretty much everything else!), the Arena Market and Cafe & Surf Supermarket for the great snacks, our judges Lisa Riboli, Margaret Grace, Kit Bliss Jones and Lauren Sinnott, and all the youth, teachers and administrators who make this project happen.

It was a smaller crowd than usual, yet the Pacific Community Charter School and Developing Virtue Girls School certainly made up for it with the mighty words and genuine expressions of our youth slam poets and Poetry Out Loud participants! Great work everyone.

We started the event with a PCCHS Slam-off, and after three rounds of three poems, the scores were very close, with the following results:

Jaren Hodder, 81.5
Levi Teal Roach, 81 (earning a perfect score for his last poem, as all three judges awarded him a perfect score for his final poem)
Aurora Smith, 80.5
Sadie Hanson, 80
Kadence Beattie, 79
Aiyana Robinson, 79

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