Hillsboro Teen to Represent Oregon in National Poetry Recital Semifinals

St. Stephen’s Academy senior Katie Lineburg will travel to Washington, D.C., for the Poetry Out Loud competition.

Katie Lineburg with Oregon runner-up Brooklyn Carr Heuer and First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson, who attended the Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 9 at Salem Public Library. Photo courtesy of Oregon Arts Commission.

Hillsboro teen Katie Lineburg will represent Oregon at a prestigious national poetry recital. The 18-year-old senior at St. Stephen’s Academy will travel to Washington, D.C., for the Poetry Out Loud National Competition’s semifinal round on May 1.

Lineburg and her opponents compete for top prizes, including the chance to advance to eventually win $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud national champion, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for the third-place finalist. The Oregon Arts Commission coordinates the state’s involvement with POL alongside the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lineburg vies for one of nine finalist slots by reciting three classic English and American poems: George Herbert’s “The Pulley,” Walt Whitman’s “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” and James Wright’s “Beginning.” She will also meet Sen. Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici as part of the contest.

Poetry Out Loud began in 2005 as a national recitation contest, encouraging high school students from every state and territory to “master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life,” according to a statement on POL’s website.

Lineberg initially qualified for the national level on March 9, after winning the state contest at the Salem Public Library with her Whitman rendition. In a statement from the Oregon Arts Commission, Lineburg said she loves poetry because “it allows [me] to connect with people and express emotions in a deeper way.”

“This experience has been such a whirlwind of blessing, growth and new opportunities,” Lineburg says in the release. “I will forever be grateful for the chance to represent my home state of Oregon as well as my school and everyone who has made this adventure of a lifetime possible.”

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