Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high school students, which calls on them to memorize and recite great works of poetry.
This year’s state champion is Sam Boudreau, a junior at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans.
Boudreau was one of 5000 Vermont students who took part in this year’s program.
You can view the semi-finals and state finals at the Vermont Arts Council's website.
The poem that clinched him the state championship was Walt Whitman's 'I Hear America Singing'. Boudreau will now advance to the National Finals, which will be held in Washington DC at the end of April.
Boudreau believes that reciting poetry is a lost art that's being rediscovered by young people, thanks in part to the popularity of poetry slams.
"I feel like we're finding something new again. There have been so many different recitations, and people are able to interpret poems differently," said Boudreau. "It's become more of an individual sport: of you expressing your individuality through poems."
He says he enjoys interpreting an artist's words, and bringing his own dramatic flair to the presentation.