Students from seventeen Delaware high schools will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at the Smyrna Opera House on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock will greet contestants and give opening remarks.
The winner will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete in the national championship April 27-29, 2015, where $50,000 in cash prizes and school stipends are awarded.
Each of the seventeen participants will recite poetry that they have selected, studied, and practiced, representing more than 40 different poets including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Lewis Carroll, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. The recitations are inspiring, moving, animated, sometimes humorous, and always engaging.
The 2015 participants are:
Andrew S.K. Dingwall, Wilmington Christian School
Hannah Duffy, Sanford School
Kate Goorland, Ursuline Academy
Brianne Gray, Seaford Senior High School
Genevieve Hahn, Mount Sophia Academy
Caitlin Mannering, St. Mark’s High School
Ayanna Matunda, Concord High School
Shannon Murray, Padua Academy
Eden Negusse, Glasgow High School
Jessica Pigeon, Caravel Academy
Jake Scheir, Dover High School
Gustavo Silveira, Wilmington Friends School
Reanna Virginia Skinner, First State School
Jarinat Sola-Rufai, Red Lion Christian Academy
Hannah Sturgis, Polytech High School
Frank Thomson, Brandywine High School
Kana Turley, Tall Oaks Classical School
To learn more about the individual students and insights into their reasons for participating in the program, read their biographies.
Director/Actor/Producer Jeffrey Santoro, artistic director and producer of Delaware All State Theatre will be the Master of Ceremonies. Adjudicators include Russell Endo, Dr. Carol Henderson, Ginny Jewell, Mary Margaret Pauer and the Twin Poets, Al Mills and the Honorable Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha. They bring their personal and professional experience as poets, educators, and performing artists to judge the participants on physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. The 2014 Delaware Poetry Out Loud champion, Kathleen Becker, will serve as the accuracy judge, ensuring that competitors recite the poems correctly.
The Delaware Division of the Arts sponsors the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest program in Delaware schools and the state finals. Competition begins at the classroom level in the fall and culminates with the state finals each spring. Twenty-three schools and over 2,000 Delaware students participated in the Poetry Out Loud program in the current academic year.
The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest competition is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. For more details about the partnership and program, click here.