PLEASE SEE THE NOTE BELOW REGARDING THE WEST VIRGINIA POETRY OUT LOUD STATE FINALS
The West Virginia Poetry Out Loud Finals event scheduled for March 13 and 14 in Charleston has been postponed until further notice. This afternoon, Governor Justice held a press conference announcing several precautionary measures related to public health and prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. As part of those measures, Governor Justice urged all state agencies to avoid holding large meetings or gatherings. Our Poetry Out Loud team shares the Governor’s concern for the wellbeing of students and their families, and it is in this spirit that we are postponing the Poetry Out Loud State Finals. We certainly do hope to reschedule and will share more details as soon as possible.
March 10, 2020
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Forty-four students from across West Virginia will recite poems by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson, Billy Collins, Sara Teasdale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ada Limón, Hanif Abdurraqib and many others during the 2020 Poetry Out Loud state finals competition set for March 13-14, 2020, at the Culture Center in Charleston.
The winner will represent West Virginia at the 2020 national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C., on April 27 – 29.
Storyteller, author and recording artist Bil Lepp will serve as master of ceremonies for the state competition. Lepp is a five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest and winner of the 2018 Vandalia Award. His books and audio collections have received awards and recognition from the Parents’ Choice Foundation, the National Parenting Publications Association, and the Public Library Association. He has performed at the National Storytelling Festival and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
The semifinal competition begins with Division I at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 13, with Division II beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s final competition begins at 1 p.m. All sessions are free and open to the public.
The Montani Quartet, a graduate string ensemble based at West Virginia University, will perform during the finals. Saturday’s program also features 2019 Poetry Out Loud champion Brett Napier, violinist Alasha Al-Qudwah and West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman.
Harshman will serve as a judge for the competition, along with Amy Alvarez, a poet and educator at West Virginia University; author and songwriter Colleen Anderson; Kay Goodwin, former secretary of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts; Charleston-based author Rajia Hassib; Joel Peckham, a poet and professor of English at Marshall University; and performing artist and educator Mitzi Sinnott.
The state champion receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals. The school receives $500 to purchase poetry books and materials. The runner-up receives $100, while the school receives $200 for poetry books and materials.
Participating students and teachers receive original works created by West Virginia artists. The state champion and runner-up also will receive custom handmade trophies.
Poetry Out Loud is 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, contact Jim Wolfe, arts in education coordinator, at (304) 558-0240 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALPHABETICAL SCHOOL LIST WITH STUDENT COMPETITORS:
Benjamin Rogers – Berkeley Springs High School
Katie Pearson – Buckhannon-Upshur High School
KT Terry – Cabell Midland High School
Israel Wright – Capital High School
Madison Barton – East Hardy High School
Clare Talbott – Elkins High School
Charlie Long – George Washington High School
Brooke Hodges – Grafton High School
Callie McFerrin – Greenbrier East High School
Ariana Mooney – Greenbrier West High School
Alexandra Biddle – Huntington High School
Melia Beckford – Hurricane High School
Brooklyn Golden – Lewis County High School
Louis Rodina – Lincoln High School
Brooke Ooten – Logan High School
Bri Goddard – Magnolia High School
Holly Johnson – Meadow Bridge High School
Julie Bowen – Moorefield High School
Theresa Appleyard – Morgantown High School
Galilea Villasenor – Nicholas County High School
Nicole Schumacher – Notre Dame High School
Alissa McGaffick – Oak Glen High School
Kaylin Burdette – Oak Hill High School
Serenity Strother – Paden City High School
Isobella Marteney – Parkersburg High School
Billy Bowers – Paw Paw High School
Isabella McNaboe – Philip Barbour High School
Kayli Mann – PikeView High School
Leo Mollohan – Ripley High School
Mikayla Steele – Roane County High School
Cadee Mae Green – Scott High School
Makayla Schrader – Shady Spring High School
Kayden Upton – South Charleston High School
Rhéa Ming – Spring Mills High School
Emily Hall – Spring Valley High School
Camille Mooney – St. James Homeschoolers
Mattelyn Lamp – St. Marys High School
Shyanne Moore – Valley High School
Allison Paige Blankenship – Webster County High School
Olivia Dowler – Weir High School
Kelly Williams – Wheeling Park High School
Brooklyn Rood – Wirt County High School
Ethan Lilly – Woodrow Wilson High School
Kalli Stewart – Wyoming East High School