Media Alert: 2019 Poetry Out Loud State Finals – Tuesday, Feb. 26

Twelve Delaware high school students to compete for the state title

MEDIA ADVISORY
February 22, 2019

WHAT: Twelve Delaware high school students will participate in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at Smyrna Opera House. The winner of this competition will represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on April 29 – May 1, 2019, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed. This program is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Students start arriving at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Smyrna Opera House, 7 W South Street, Smyrna, DE 19977

WHO: Finalists, Featured Speakers and Judges will be:

 

2019 Delaware State Finalists

Name School
Emma Elliott Dover High School
Chelsea Anokye-Agyei Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
Sarah Stevenson Milford Senior High School
Nadia Sheikh MOT Charter High School
Daniel Patrick Johnson Mount Sophia Academy
Megan Chen Newark Charter High School
Ashton Driver Red Lion Christian Academy
Anne Rosenthal Sanford School
Brandon Greenlee Sussex Central High School
Samuel McGarvey Tall Oaks Classical School
Catherine Enslen Ursuline Academy
Mariela Rivero Wilmington Christian School

Speakers and judges will be:

Speakers:

Paul Weagraff, Director, Delaware Division of the Arts

J. Mack Wathen, Chair, Delaware State Arts Council

Mistress of Ceremonies:

Donna DeKuyper, Singer, Actress and Co-Owner, Hotel Blue, Lewes, DE

Judges:

Dr. Ethan Joella, English and Social Sciences Faculty, University of Delaware, Georgetown, Director, Ethan Joella Communications

Susan Kehoe, Managing Partner, Browseabout Books, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Reverend John G. Moore, Director, Philanthropy and Engagement, United Way of Delaware

Chet’la Sebree, 2019 Individual Artist Fellow – Poetry

Dr. David Teague, Professor of English, Associate in Arts Program, University of Delaware

Dr. Jesse Zuba, Assistant Professor of English, Delaware State University

Christian Wills, Former Poetry Out Loud Contestant will serve as the Prompter

Heather Morrissey, Delaware State Arts Council Member will serve as Accuracy Judge

Entertainment:

JW2, is made up of James Witherite (organ) and Jonathan W. Whitney (drums), who bring their own originals and favorites from the jazz, funk, and old-school R&B genres to life.

OTHER: Attendance at Smyrna Opera House is free and open to the public. The 2019 Poetry Out Loud Media Kit for this event is available on our website. Hi-Res photos will be available the day after the event. Use hashtags: #POL19, #iampoetryoutloud, and #DDOA30. Tag us at: @ArtsDelaware

 

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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 Annual Poetry Out Loud State Competition

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

Dover, Del. (January 30, 2019) –The free recitation contest will start with a semi-final competition at Modern Maturity Center, Dover on Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. This year’s semi-finals judges are:

  • Jamie Brunson, Executive Director, First Person Arts, Philadelphia
  • Sherry Gage Chappelle, 2016 Individual Artist Fellow: Poetry
  • Russell Endo, 2011 Individual Artist Fellow: Poetry
  • Maggie Rowe, 2016 Individual Artist Fellow: Poetry
  • James Weiler, English/Language Arts Instructor, Woodbridge High School

Twelve finalists will move on to compete at the state finals to be held at Smyrna Opera House on Tuesday, February 26 at 7 p.m. (snow date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019). The finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC from April 29 – May 1, 2019, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.


2019 Delaware State Semi-Finalists

Name School
Landon Hayes Cape Henlopen High School
Jo Griffin Concord High School
Emma Elliott Dover High School
Chelsea Anokye-Agyei Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
Amy Garcia-Perez Indian River High School
Tyler Keeler Laurel Senior High School
Sarah Stevenson Milford Senior High School
Nadia Sheikh MOT Charter High School
Daniel Johnson Mount Sophia Academy
Megan Chen Newark Charter High School
Ashton Driver Red Lion Christian Academy
Anne Rosenthal Sanford School
Alex Dornenburg Seaford Senior High School
Liliana Yenovkian Sussex Academy of the Arts & Sciences
Brandon Greenlee Sussex Central High School
Charmaine Pasicolan St. Mark’s High School
Samuel McGarvey Tall Oaks Classical School
Catherine Enslen Ursuline Academy
Mariela Rivero Wilmington Christian School
James Tallman 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. Image: 2018 Award Winners exhibition at the Biggs Museum. Painting (right) by Thomas del Porte, 2018 Established Professional, Visual Arts: painting

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


Cecilia Ergueta to Represent Delaware in 2017 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington

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Poetry Out Loud 2017
2017 Delaware Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Cecilia Ergueta

From a competitive field of 13 Delaware high school students, Cecilia Ergueta, a junior from Wilmington Friends School, earned the title of 2017 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna, Del. on Feb. 28. The first runner-up was Shalyn Littlejohn from Hodgson Vo-Tech High School and the second runner-up was Sam McGarvey from Tall Oaks Classical High School.

Ergueta’s final recitation, “The True-Blue American” by Delmore Schwartz, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

For her winning presentation, Ergueta will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington with a chaperone to compete at the national championship on April 25-26. Wilmington Friends School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Shalyn Littlejohn, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Hodgson Vo-Tech High 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 State Finalists and for hi-res photos from the event, please see our page here.


17-pol-group-photo-lt-gov
Top Row: Nick Thompson, Mollie Russell, Ryan Washington Middle Row: Shannon Murray, Cecilia Ergueta, Jane Krukiel Bottom Row: Andrew Dingwall, Natalie Nwanekwu, Shalyn Littlejohn, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, Tania Laurent, Glynnis Leach, Sam McGarvey Not Pictured: Carly Lepore Photo Credit: Kathleen Buckalew

 

About Poetry Out Loud
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 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, see the program overview here.

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 artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

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


Media Advisory: 2017 Delaware Poetry Out Loud State Finals

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POL2016_color_horizontalWHAT: Thirteen Delaware high school students will participate in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at the Smyrna Opera House. The winner of this competition will represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC on April 25-26, 2017, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed. This program is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 28 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Students start arriving at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Smyrna Opera House: Click here for directions.

WHO:  Featured speakers and judges will be:

  • Speakers:
    • The Honorable Jeffrey W. Bullock, Secretary of State
    • Paul Weagraff, Director, Delaware Division of the Arts
    • J. Mack Wathen, Chair, Delaware State Arts Council
  • Master of Ceremonies:
    • Scott F. Mason, President of Chapel Street Players and award-winning actor, playwright, and director
  • Judges:
    • Chantalle Ashford, Choral Director and English Teacher, Indian River High School
    • Russell Susumu Endo, Poet, 2011 Individual Artist Fellow: Poetry
    • Ajit Matthew George, Organizer, TEDxWilmington
    • Joseph Masiello, Adjunct Professor, Wilmington University
    • Devon Miller-Duggan, Professor of Creative Writing, University of Delaware
    • Jane Rubini, Founder and Chair, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Communication Contest
    • Dr. Donna Blakey, Delaware State Arts Council member will serve as the accuracy judge
  • Entertainment:
    • JW2, is made up of James Witherite (organ) and Jonathan W. Whitney (drums), who bring their own originals and favorites from the jazz, funk, and old-school R&B genres to life.

OTHER: Attendance at Smyrna Opera House is free and open to the public, although seating is limited. The 2017 Poetry Out Loud Media Kit for this event is available on our website. Hi-Res photos will be available the day after the event.  Use hashtags: #POL17, #iampoetryoutloud, and #Delaware. Tag us at: @ArtsDelaware

About Poetry Out Loud
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 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, see the program overview here.

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 artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

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


Thirteen High School Students to Compete in 2017 Delaware Poetry Out Loud State Finals

ddoa-horizontal-logo

POL2016_color_horizontalThe annual poetry recitation finals will be held at the Smyrna Opera House on Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend. Scott F. Mason, president of Chapel Street Players and award-winning actor, playwright, and director will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and introduce the speakers. He will be followed by Paul Weagraff, director of the Delaware Division of the Arts and the Honorable Jeffrey W. Bullock, State of Delaware secretary of state, who will greet contestants and give opening remarks. J. Mack Wathen, chair of Delaware State Arts Council will conclude by recognizing the panel of adjudicators.

Each of the 13 participants will recite three poems that they have selected, studied, and practiced, representing more than 40 different poets including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Langston Hughes, Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The recitations are inspiring, moving, sometimes humorous, and always engaging. The winner will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete in the national championship from April 25-26, where $50,000 in cash prizes and school stipends are awarded.

The 2017 Poetry Out Loud participants are:

Name School
Glynnis Leach Concord High School
Carly LePore Dover High School
Shalyn Littlejohn Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
Natalie Nwanekwu Newark Charter Jr./Sr. High School
Shannon Murray Padua Academy
Nick Thompson Polytech High School
Ryan Washington Sanford School
Tania Laurent Seaford High School
Mollie Russell St. Mark’s High School
Sam McGarvey Tall Oaks Classical School
Jane Krukiel Ursuline Academy
Andrew Dingwall Wilmington Christian School
Cecilia Ergueta Wilmington Friends School

 

To learn more about each high school student and their reasons for participating in Poetry Out Loud, please read their biographies here.

Scott F. Mason, president of Chapel Street Players and award-winning actor, playwright, and director will be the Master of Ceremonies. Adjudicators include Chantalle Ashford, Russell Susumu Endo, Ajit Matthew George, Joseph Masiello, Devon Miller-Duggan, and Jane Rubini. 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. Delaware State Arts Council member, Dr. Donna Blakey, will serve as the accuracy judge, ensuring that competitors recite the poems correctly.

About Poetry Out Loud
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 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, see the program overview here.

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 artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

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