Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Tenn. Teen Wins 2014 National Poetry Out Loud Contest

National Endowment for the Arts

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A Tennessee teen is the 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud Contest winner.

Anita Norman took first place Wednesday during the poetry finals in Washington D.C. She won reciting a poem by the free-black, abolitionist and 19th century poet Francis Harper entitled “Let the Light Enter.”

Norman is a junior at Arlington High in Shelby County. She’s the first Tennessean to win the contest launched by the National Endowment in 2006. She competed with other teens from across the United States.

Norman says her entire family is artistic and she grew up reciting poems at church. The Harper poem she won with is about a man contemplating the end of his life.

“Just to have light. To have God present in the process of his death. It’s really just his plea, his prayer to let the light enter.”

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and state arts organizations. It’s goal is to encourage young people to appreciate the nation’s literary heritage.

Would you like to watch a Youtube video of Norman reciting her winning poem?