Poetry Out Loud proves that real time spoken word still has the power to move, educate, and inspire young people.
Since its inception eight years ago, the program has introduced hundreds of thousands of high school students to recitation and performance poetry through a competition encouraging kids to memorize and perform great poetry. This year more than 24,000 students statewide competed in preliminary rounds. The field has been narrowed to 74 semi-finalists, who will perform in four regional semi-final contests this weekend, in advance of the state finals on March 9, and the national finals in April. All events are free. A schedule of events is below. For information visit www.poetryoutloud.org or www.huntingtontheatre.org/pol
Boston - March 1, 9:30 a.m. Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St.
Framingham - March 1, 9:30 a.m. Framingham Lodge of Elks, 450 Union Ave.
Springfield - March 2, 10 a.m. Community Music School of Springfield, 127 State St.
Cape Cod - March 2, 1 p.m. Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth.
March 9, 9:30 a.m. Performances by finalists, guest performance by 2013 National Champion Langston Ward. Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.