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26 Students to Compete in West Virginia Poetry Out Loud Competition on March 14-15, 2014


26 Students to Compete in West Virginia Poetry Out Loud Competition on March 14-15, 2014

Twenty-six students from across West Virginia will recite poems by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and others during the 2014 state Poetry Out Loud competition set for March 14-15, 2014, at the Culture Center in Charleston.

The winner will represent West Virginia at the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C., on April 29-30.

Television and screen actor Chris Sarandon of Beckley will serve as master of ceremonies for the state competition again this year. Sarandon guest starred on such television series as Chicago Hope, The Good Wife, The Practice and Law and Order SVU. His movie performances include Dog Day Afternoon, The Princess Bride, Child’s Play, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Loggerheads. Sarandon has been the West Virginia Poetry Out Loud master of ceremonies since 2007.

West Virginia author Colleen Anderson, Affrilachian poet Crystal Good, West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman and American cellist, singer-songwriter and composer Ben Sollee will perform during the two-day event.

The semi-final competition begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 14. Saturday’s final competition begins at 1 p.m.

Anderson, Good and Harshman will serve as judges along with Mark Davis, a former Kanawha County Teacher of the Year who supervises and manages the county’s K-12 arts programs; and Caleb Stacy, the runner-up from the 2010 West Virginia Poetry Out Loud competition.

A list of students competing in this year’s contest and the schools they represent is attached.

The state champion receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals. The school receives $500 to purchase poetry books. The runner-up receives $100, while the school receives $200 for poetry books.

This year, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts commissioned Gilmer County artist Matt Thomas to create the West Virginia Poetry Out Loud champion award and a traveling award that will be displayed at the winning school.

For more information, contact Renée Margocee, director of Arts, at (304) 558-0240 or email her at

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


Carol Desper
Braxton County High School
“Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser
“Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe
“Beautiful Wreckage” by W.D. Ehrhart

Caylee Hope
Bridgeport High School
“Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes” by Thomas Gray
“The Doubt of Future Foes” by Queen Elizabeth I
“War Widow” by Chris Abani

Alexandria Runyon
Cabell Midland High School
“Prayer for My Father” by Robert Bly
“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
“Time Does Not Bring Relief: You All Have Lied” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Nadye Menking-Hoggatt
Capital High School
“In School-days” by John Greenleaf Whittier
“Entirely” by Louis MacNeice
“On a Drop of Dew” by Andrew Marvell

Kristen Abigail Hensley
Chapmanville Regional High School
“More Lies” by Karin Gottshall
“Deliberate” by Amy Uyematsu
“Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sabrina Dahlia
East Fairmont High School
“Blind Curse” by Simon J. Ortiz
“Larkinesque” by Michael Ryan
“A Letter to her Husband, absent upon Publick employment” by Anne Bradstreet

Neely Seams
Greenbrier East High School
“The animals in that country” by Margaret Atwood
“Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost
“Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe

Karissa Cox
Greenbrier West High School
“The Cities Inside Us” by Alberto Ríos
“April Love” by Ernest Dowson
“Blackberrying” by Sylvia Plath

Grace Pritt
Hurricane High School
“Discrimination” by Kenneth Rexroth
“Her Kind” by Anne Sexton
“The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Luke White
Lewis County High School
“Solitude” by Ellen Wheeler Wilcox
“Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight” by Vachel Lindsay
“In the Past” by Trumbull Stickney

McKenzie Channell
Lincoln High School
“Harlem” by Langston Hughes
“Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost
“Jabberwockey” by Lewis Carroll

Katalina Annie Jeffers
Lincoln County High School
“Catch a Little Rhyme” by Eve Merriam
“’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson
“Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost

McGinnis Dalton
Logan High School
“A Fixed Idea” by Amy Lowell
“Lazy” by David Yezzi
“’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson

Autumn White
Meadow Bridge High School
“The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” by Ezra Pound
“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe
“La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” by John Keats

Ireland Spotswood
Musselman High School
“Echo” by Christina Rossetti
“The Collar” by George Herbert
“Epitaph on the Tombstone of a Child, the Last of Seven that Died Before” by Aphra Behn

Hannah Ström
Nitro High School
“Thoughtless Cruelty” by Charles Lamb
“The Convergence of the Twain” by Thomas Hardy
“Beginning” by James Wright

John Bard
Richwood High School
“Meditation on a Grapefruit” by Craig Arnold
“Football” by Louis Jenkins
“To Helen” by Edgar Allan Poe

Brooke King
Ripley High School
“Let the Light Enter” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“Poem about People” by Robert Pinsky

Tyler Hammack
Roane County High School
“A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown” by Walt Whitman
“I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca
“Sheltered Garden” by H.D.

Jessica Kimble
Tyler Consolidated High School
“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” by Emily Dickinson
“Blind Curse” by Simon J. Ortiz
“The Albatross” by Katie Bass

Selena Dennison
Webster County High School
“The Rain” by Robert Creeley
“Fairy-tale Logic” by A.E. Stallings
“On the Death of Anne Brontë” by Charlotte Brontë

Austin Gage
Wheeling Park High School
“I Find no Peace” by Thomas Wyatt
“Strange Meeting” by Wilfred Owen
“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” by E.E. Cummings

Sarah Jones
Wirt County High School
“Broken Promises” by David Kirby
“Song of the Shattering Vessels” by Peter Cole
“The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mary-Kate Bostick
Woodrow Wilson High School
“Self-Inquiry Before the Job Interview” by Gary Soto
“Grief” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“Baudelaire” by Delmore Schwartz

Morgantown High School
Sarah Beth Ealy
“The Albatross” by Kate Bass
“The Collar” by George Herbert
“Baudelaire” by Delmore Schwartz

Ciera Kinder
Sherman High School
“The Day” by Geoffrey Brock
“Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye
“A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman

Contact Information

Caryn Gresham WV Division of Culture and History

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