Today(January 26, 2017) bring your gift of gab, intellect, verse and spoken word to Central Library in Lake Charles at 4:30 p.m.  It's the 2016-2017 season of Poetry Out Loud, recitation competition for high school students.  It's free to enter, just show up and show out.  Now in it's tenth year this program has sparked interest, intrigued young minds and propelled poetry's role in high schools across the nation.

Below is a look at some of last years outstanding performances and winners:

Poetry Out Loud is brought to you by, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation with the main purpose of challenging high school students to study and memorize poetry.  The innovative arts education program also builds confidence and gives students an opportunity to put their speaking skills to the test in a competitive setting.  The library competition today, will determine what students will go on to the regional competition at Central School on Tuesday, February 16, 2017.

Students will be expected to recite centuries-old and contemporary poems on stage, utilize oratory and implement theatrical elements to enhance their performances.  The grand prize includes over $50,000 in stipends, various other awards given at the national level, and additional $800 state and locally.

Students interested in competing at the library competition today or schools wishing to host their own competition are to contact the Arts Council immediately, at 337-439-ARTS.