Oregon Champion Katie Lineburg to Compete at May 1 Poetry Out Loud National Competition in Washington D.C.

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This week, 18-year-old Katie Lineburg of Hillsboro will embark on the greatest adventure of her lifetime.

As Oregon’s 2024 champion, Lineburg will travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Competition on Wednesday, May 1. Her D.C. itinerary also includes meetings with Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“I am so filled with thankfulness, anticipation and awe as I prepare for my trip to Washington D.C.,” said Lineburg. “This experience has been such a whirlwind of blessing, growth and new opportunities, and 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 as I compete at Poetry Out Loud nationals.”

A senior from St. Stephen’s Academy, Lineburg will compete in the national semifinals from 2 to 5 p.m. (PDT) on Wednesday, May 1. The competition will be live-streamed on the National Endowment for the Arts website. The top nine students will advance to the national finals at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, May 2, also to be live-streamed.

Lineburg is the oldest of five siblings who loves music and spending time with friends and family. She is a member of the St. Stephen’s Academy Festival Choir and loves poetry because “it allows her to connect with people and express emotions in a deeper way.” She has also loved public speaking since a very young age.

“The reading of poetry can transform the written word into a deeply felt shared experience,” said First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson, who attended the Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 9 at Salem Public Library. 

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

“Poetry Out Loud is a wonderful program that allows young people to connect with the human experience through the power of words,” First Lady Kotek Wilson added. “Congratulations to Katie Lineburg for representing Oregon in the national competition. We are all rooting for you!”

The poems Lineburg will perform for the national competition are “The Pulley” by George Herbert, “Beginning” by James Wright and “A Noiseless Spiker” by Walt Whitman.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest for high school students, organized in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the NEA and the Poetry Foundation. Participants memorize and present poems, practicing public speaking skills while exploring the complexity of poetry.

See video of Lineburg performing and being announced as Oregon’s champion.

About Author

Carrie Kikel is the Communications Manager for Oregon’s Arts Department, which includes the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust. The Oregon Arts Commission provides statewide grant funding to artists, arts organizations and arts programs. The Cultural Trust raises public and private awareness and investment in arts, heritage, history, humanities and preservation.

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