Delaware Division of the Arts Announces 2022-2023 POETRY OUT LOUD Poetry Recitation Contest

High school students in Delaware invited to compete in national poetry recitation contest

 

Wilmington, Del. (September 23, 2022) – The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud™ in partnership with Delaware Division of the Arts. This national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence, while also learning more about both classic and contemporary poetry.

From October 2022 to January 2023, schools are invited to hold classroom and school wide contests, with students advancing to a state competition on March 2, 2023 at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, DE. Non-school organizations, such as after school clubs, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, may also choose to run Poetry Out Loud. Students may only compete in one stream—either with their school or an organization. More information is available at PoetryOutLoud.org, including guidelines for conducting the competition in-person or virtually. State champions will advance to the national finals, which will take place in Washington, D.C. in May of 2023, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed. 

Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

“We are proud to partner with the Poetry Foundation and the Delaware Division of the Arts to make Poetry Out Loud available to students in Delaware,” said Amy Stolls, National Endowment for the Arts director of Literary Arts. “It is inspiring to see students thrive though this program as they develop a deeper understanding of poetry while building self-confidence.”

“All of the student competitors demonstrate their openness to the power of poetry and their commitment to developing skills that allow them to share that power with those around them,” said Michelle T. Boone, Poetry Foundation president. “The young people involved in Poetry Out Loud are remarkable, and we are honored to be a part of this program.”

“There is no better way for students to discover the power of classic poetry and develop vital presentation and oratory skills than participating in Poetry Out Loud. Given the local recognition for participants and the state and national scholarships  offered Poetry Out Loud is an extremely rewarding opportunity for our students, teachers and schools,” say Delaware’s Poet Laureates Al and Nnamdi Chukwuocha.

As part of Poetry Out Loud, the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials—all available online—which teachers may choose to use in their classrooms. These include an online poetry anthology containing more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters, and video and audio on the art of poetry recitation. Schools are welcome to access these resources at PoetryOutLoud.org.

How to get involved in Poetry Out Loud
High schools and organizations that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must register with the Delaware Division of the Arts by October 31, 2022 to participate. The Division will work with interested schools and organizations to include them in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools and organizations that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources. Contact Sheila Dean Ross at Sheila.Ross@delaware.gov or by phone at 302-577-8286 or visit PoetryOutLoud.org for more information.

Poetry Out Loud awards
Each state champion will receive $200 and will advance to the national championship, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements for the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

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Contact: Andrew Truscott, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications

302-577-8280, andrew.truscott@delaware.gov

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


Natalie Kim Ramos to Represent Delaware in 2022 Poetry Out Loud Virtual National Semifinals

Wilmington, Del. (March 10, 2022) – From a field of ten Delaware high school students, Natalie Kim Ramos, a senior from Saint Mark’s High School, earned the title of 2022 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the virtual state finals held on March 10. The first runner-up was Kai Schmiedel from Delaware Valley Classical School and the second runner-up was Aiden Morris from Mount Sophia Academy.

Ramos’ recitation, “How To Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

As the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion, Ramos will receive $200 and the opportunity to compete in the virtual national semifinals on Sunday, May 1, 2022, which will be streamed on arts.gov. Saint Mark’s High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Kai Schmiedel, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Delaware Valley Classical School will receive $200 for its school library.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

To learn more about the competition and for a full list of state finalists, please view our website.

Watch the full 2022 Delaware state competition below:

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


The Delaware Division of the Arts to Host 2022 Virtual Poetry Out Loud State Competition

Ten Delaware high school students to compete for the state title and to advance to virtual National Finals

MEDIA ADVISORY
March 2, 2022

WHAT: Ten Delaware high school students participated in the taped state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest that will premiere on the Delaware Division of the Arts’ YouTube channel. The winner of this competition will represent Delaware and advance to the national semifinals, to be streamed on Sunday, May 1, 2022 on arts.gov, with the top nine students advancing to the national finals, that will stream on Sunday, June 5, 2022. This program is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

WHEN: Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Delaware Division of the Arts’ YouTube channel

WHO: Finalists, Featured Speakers and Judges will be:

 

2022 Delaware State Finalists

Name School
Blessings Akanbi Hodgson Vocational Technical School
Joelle Caternor Smyrna High School
Robyn Goodman Woodbridge High School
Aiden Morris Mount Sophia Academy
Ololade Olubowale The Tatnall School
Natalie Kim Ramos Saint Mark’s High School
Kai Schmiedel Delaware Valley Classical School
Ashley Schnyder Sanford School
Kylie Short Milford High School
Carrie Van Hauter Sussex Central High School

 

Speakers and judges will be:

Speakers:

Jessica Ball, Director, Delaware Division of the Arts

The Honorable Jeffrey W. Bullock, Secretary of State, State of Delaware

Mistress of Ceremonies:

JoAnn Balingit, D. Teaching Artist

Judges:

Jamie Brunson, Executive Director, First Person Arts and 2022 Individual Artist Fellow – Playwriting

Kari Ann Ebert, Poetry and Interview Editor, The Broadkill Review

David Salner, Poet and Writer

Alyssa Watters, Teen Center Coordinator, Milford Public Library

Christian Wills, Poet, Teaching Artist, and Lyricist

Beverly Romain, Poet, Teaching Artist, and Writer will serve as Accuracy Judge

Production Team:

Director: Traci Currie, Ph.D, Teaching Artist

Film Editor: Kevin Muhammad, Advocate Media

Closed Captioning: Daniel Sato, Director of Multimedia, Government Information Center, State of Delaware

Program Staff:

Sheila Dean Ross, Program Officer, Arts in Education, Delaware Division of the Arts

Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing, Delaware Division of the Arts

Dana Wise, Administrative Assistant, Delaware Division of the Arts

OTHER: The 2022 Poetry Out Loud photos will be available the day after the event. Use hashtags: #POL22 and #iampoetryoutloud. Tag us at: @ArtsDelaware

Learn more

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


Camille Decker to Represent Delaware in 2020 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington

Sanford School senior to advance to
National Finals in Washington, DC

Smyrna, Del. (February 26, 2020) – From a field of 15 Delaware high school students, Camille Decker, a senior from Sanford School, earned the title of 2020 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna, Del. on Feb. 25. The first runner-up was senior Sarah Zhu, from Wilmington Christian School and the second runner-up was Daniel Patrick Johnson, a senior from Mount Sophia Academy.

Daniel Patrick Johnson, Camille Decker and Sarah Zhu all hold their 2020 Delaware Poetry Out Loud state finalist awards
Daniel Patrick Johnson (Mount Sophia Academy), Camille Decker (Sanford School), Sarah Zhu (Wilmington Christian School)

Decker’s dynamic performances of “Double Dutch” by Gregory Pardlo and “Mingus at the Showplace” by William Matthews earned her a spot in the third and final round of six contestants where she recited William Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper.” Her sense of humor, range of tone and confident style came through in the poem by Matthews, which can be found at the Poetry Foundation’s website.

For her winning presentation, Decker will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington with a chaperone to compete at the National Semifinals which will be held at Lisner Auditorium on Tuesday, April 28. The National Finals will be held at the Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm. Sanford School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Sarah Zhu, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Wilmington Christian School will receive $200 for its school library.

Front Row (l to r): Paul Weagraff, Director Division of the Arts; First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney; Charmaine Pasicolan; Rebecca Wisniewski; Natalia Castillo Vazquez; Julie Griswold; Penn Smith; Estelle Hegenbarth; Sarah Zhu; Camille Decker Back Row (l to r): Shalom Ighodaro; Sam McGarvey; Josh-Samuel Ikechi-Konkwo; Alex Free; Ian Hayes; Daniel Patrick Johnson; Reuben Everhart; J. Mack Wathen, Chair, Delaware State Arts Council

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

Learn more


2020 Delaware State Finalists

Name Community
Josh-Samuel Ikechi-Konkwo Cape Henlopen High School
Sam McGarvey Delaware Valley Classical School
Ian Hayes Dover High School
Natalia Castillo Vazquez Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
Rebecca Wisniewski Milford Senior High School
Shalom Ighodaro MOT High School
Daniel Patrick Johnson Mount Sophia Academy
Reuben Everhart Newark Charter High School
Charmaine Pasicolan Saint Mark’s High School
Camille Decker Sanford School
Alex Free Seaford Senior High School
Penn Smith Sussex Central High School
Julie Griswold Tatnall School
Sarah Zhu Wilmington Christian School
Estelle Hegenbarth Wilmington Friends School

All photos should be credited with – Photo Credit: Joe del Tufo

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


The Delaware Division of the Arts to Host 2020 Poetry Out Loud State Competition

Seventeen students to compete to advance to
National Finals in Washington, DC

Smyrna, Del. (February 13, 2020) –The free recitation contest will host its state final competition at Smyrna Opera House on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 p.m. (snow date: Thursday, February 27). The finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC from April 27-29, 2020, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

This year’s finals judges are:

  • Traci Currie, Spoken Word Artist & Program Director, Arts Work Summer Youth Apprenticeship, City of Wilmington
  • Reverend Dr. John G. Moore, Director, Philanthropy and Engagement, United Way of Delaware
  • Heather Morrissey, Director of Operations, Delaware Art Museum
  • Janet Owens, Dean of Instruction – Humanities, Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • James Weiler, Chair, English Department, Woodbridge High School
  • Jesse Zuba, Assistant Professor of English, Delaware State University

Other participants:

  • Tina Betz (Mistress of Ceremonies), Director, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Wilmington
  • Debora Hansen (Prompter), Former Education Associate, Visual and Performing Arts, Delaware Department of Education
  • Christian Wills (Accuracy Judge), Former Poetry Out Loud contestant, Artist/Poet/Lyricist

2020 Delaware State Finalists

Name Community
Josh-Samuel Ikechi-Konkwo Cape Henlopen High School
Sam McGarvey Delaware Valley Classical School
Ian Hayes Dover High School
Natalia Castillo Vazquez Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
Willy Vasquez Indian River High School
Rebecca Wisniewski Milford Senior High School
Shalom Ighodaro MOT High School
Daniel Patrick Johnson Mount Sophia Academy
Reuben Everhart Newark Charter High School
Mia daPonte Red Lion Christian Academy
Charmaine Pasicolan Saint Mark’s High School
Camille Decker Sanford School
Alex Free Seaford Senior High School
Penn Smith Sussex Central High School
Julie Griswold Tatnall School
Sarah Zhu Wilmington Christian School
Estelle Hegenbarth Wilmington Friends School

Learn more

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov