The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the first “Monster Truck Poetry Pull,” West Virginia’s final competition round in the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The West Virginia program was a pilot project for Kanawha County school students.
The first-place finalist is Brook Johnson, a ninth grade student at Sissonville High School. Johnson won $200 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national finals on Tuesday, May 16. Sissonville High School was awarded $500 to buy poetry books as a result of Johnson’s win.
The second-place finalist is Precious Blackmon from the Charleston Job Corps. Blackmon won $100 and the Charleston Job Corps was awarded $200 for its library.
Students from Riverside, St. Albans and Sissonville high schools and the Charleston Job Corps competed for the prizes on Tuesday, May 2, in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston.
Judges for the West Virginia finals were performance professionals Kirk Judd of Morgantown, Bryant McAllister, and Heidi Muller, both of Charleston.
Poetry Out Loud is a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry Magazine, the oldest English-language monthly publication dedicated to verse. The program is designed to encourage high school-age students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
For more information about the Poetry Out Loud, National Recitation Contest, contact Richard H. Ressmeyer, director of arts for the Division at (304) 558-0240, ext. 721 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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Photos (right-click and select save as)
Brook Johnson, a ninth grade student at Sissonville High School (202KB)
Precious Blackmon from the Charleston Job Corps (225KB)