Liam Daily edged out Claire Waichler in close competition to win the second annual Poetry Out Loud competition for Liberty Bell High School students last week.

Kira Cramer was the winner of the Independent Learning Center competition, and she and Daily will travel to Spokane on Feb. 6, 2014, for the Eastern Washington Regional Poetry Out Loud contest in Spokane.

The top two finishers in the Spokane contest will advance to the state championship in Olympia in March. The Washington state champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C., where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Before a full house at The Merc Playhouse, Daily, Waichler, Cramer and 10 other students each recited two poems they had chosen from a list provided by the national Poetry Out Loud organization.

Daily recited “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen and “The Empty Dance Shoes” by Cornelius Eady. Waichler recited “Zoom!” by Simon Armitage and “Meditation on a Grapefruit” by Craig Arnold. Third place went to Rowan Post, who recited “Magnitudes” by Howard Nemerov and “Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night” by Walt Whitman.

Cramer recited “More Lies” by Karin Gottshall and “Cartoon Physics, part 1,” by Nick Flynn.

Other finalists were Garrett Jensen, Allison Ryan, Sebastian Hogness, Danielle Mott, Riley Calvert, Olivia Ekblad, Nate Hirsch, Willy Duguay and Liv Bowers. They advanced from earlier competitions at each grade level.

The competition, presented in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the Public School Funding Alliance and Methow Arts, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

The winner of last year’s inaugural local contest, Tom Zbyszewski, finished second at the state finals after winning the regional competition.