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Whitney Baxter, Tennessee State Poetry Out Loud Champion

Whitney was chosen from the school run-off to compete at the East Tennessee Regional competition in Oak Ridge, where she competed against nine other students. Three students (unranked) from the regional competition competed at the State competition, which took place March 2 at the Governor's mansion in Nashville. Whitney was selected as the winner and won a cash prize of $1,000. She will join 52 other competitors for the national finals in Washington, D.C., April 28-30. Competitors will include one finalist from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There will be three semi-final rounds based by region. Three students from each regional semi-final will progress to the final round. First prize winner will win $20,000, second place $10,000, and third place $5,000. Students in 4th-9th place each receive $1,000. In addition, all nine finalists win $500 for their school for the purchase of poetry books. The three poems Whitney recited are, “I Carry Your Heart (I Carry it in)” by E. E. Cummings, “I Felt a Funeral in my Brain (340)” by Emily Dickenson, and “Poor Souls” by Edward Hirsch.

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