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High school students compete in the state finals.

On February 20, a group of twenty-two students traveled from all over the state with their teachers and family members to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery to participate in the state finals of Poetry Out Loud. Alabama’s new State Champion is Margaret “Peggy” Payne from St. Peter’s Academy in Limestone County. Last year’s Alabama champion, Youssef Biaz from Auburn High School, traveled to Washington, D.C., to become the National Poetry Out Loud Champion. Payne said that she hopes to follow Biaz as 2012 National Champion.

Doris Anne Darbouze of Auburn High School placed first in the Original Poetry category. The Alabama Writers’ Forum underwrites two cash awards – First Place for $150 and First Runner-up for $75. First Place, First Runner-up, and Honorable Mention winners in Original Poetry receive a complementary one-year student membership in the Forum. All eight top winners in Poetry Out Loud receive contemporary poetry collections.

Visit the state winners below. (Photos by Julian)

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