W.Va. – Webster County High School student Tyler Ray will represent West
Virginia at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in
Washington, D.C. on April 25-26.
won the state competition hosted by the West Virginia Division of Culture and
History (WVDCH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts on Saturday, March
4, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Sarah Beth Ealy
of Morgantown High School was the runner-up.
recited Larkinesque by Michael Ryan, Novel by Arthur Rimbaud and Siblings
by Patricia Smith.
poems included Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lions by
Sandra McPherson and The Albatross by Kate Bass.
students from high schools in 26 counties competed in the semifinals on Friday,
March 3, 2017, with the top 10 contestants competing Saturday in the state
final. A complete list of semifinalists and their schools is attached. Top
10 finalists and Top 5 finalists are also noted.
Ray received $200 and
an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national finals. Webster
County High School received a $500 stipend to buy poetry books and materials.
His teacher is Greta Cox.
As the runner-up,
Ealy received $100 and $200 for her school to purchase poetry books and
materials. Her teacher is Kevin Colistra.
West Virginia artist
Nik Botkin of Kanawha County was commissioned to create the championship award
and a companion trophy, which will be on display at Webster County High School.
Poetry Out Loud is
a poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA) 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 students to learn about great poetry through
memorization, performance and competition.
This year, the Poetry
Out Loud competition continued to grow. Beginning at the classroom
level, 4,585 students and 120 teachers at 44 West Virginia high schools
participated in the program.
“We’re very pleased
that West Virginia’s teachers and students have not only embraced this program,
but excelled. The student performances were extremely impressive, and
that reflects the high quality of the Poetry Out Loud curriculum and the
dedication of the teachers who deliver it in the classroom,” said Jim Wolfe,
state Poetry Out Loud coordinator and arts in education coordinator for the