CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Bridgeport High School student Morgan Sprouse will represent West Virginia in the 2023 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. on May 8-10.
Sprouse won the state competition hosted by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts on Saturday, March 11, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Willow Peyton of St. Marys High School was named the state runner-up.
Sprouse recited “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo, “Shall earth no more inspire thee” by Emily Bronte, and “I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Peyton’s poems included “Whenever you see a tree” by Padma Venkatraman, “Poetry” by Lydia Huntley Sigourney, and “This Most Perfect Hill” by Lisa Jarnot.
Forty-one students from high schools in 28 counties competed in the semifinals on Friday, March 10, 2023, 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 also are noted.
Sprouse will receive $200 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national finals. Bridgeport High School will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books and materials. The school’s Poetry Out Loud coordinator is Jared St. Martin Brown.
As the runner-up, Peyton will receive $100 and her school will receive $200 to purchase poetry materials. St. Marys High School’s Poetry Out Loud coordinator is Paige Cook.
Both students received trophies created by West Virginia artist Matt Thomas of Gilmer County.
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.
Beginning at the classroom level, more than 4,800 students and 153 teachers at 46 West Virginia high schools participated in the Poetry Out Loud program this year.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud and the state final competition, contact program coordinator Jim Wolfe at (304) 558-0240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALPHABETICAL SCHOOL LIST WITH STUDENT COMPETITORS:
Berkeley Springs High School – Emma Christie (Top 5)
Bridgeport High School – Morgan Sprouse (State Champion)
Buckhannon Upshur High School – Haley Butcher (Top 10)
Capital High School – Thomas Ward (Top 10)
Charleston Catholic High School – Joseph Ward
Clay Battelle High School – Ella Lybarger
East Hardy High School – Jace Thompson
Elkins High School – Clare Talbott (Top 10)
Fairmont Senior High – Ava McMullen
George Washington High School – Cassidy Dusenbury
Gilmer County High School – Sarah Yoder
Grafton High School – Caroline Wellman
Greenbrier East High School – Lauren Rodgers (Top 5)
John Marshall High School – Angestura Kash
Lewis County High School – Grace Freeman
Lincoln High School – Myah Riley
Logan High School – Isabella Mark
Magnolia High School – Vanessa Cogar
Meadow Bridge High School – Michael Simmons
Moorefield High School – Gary Weese
Morgantown High School – John Spellman (Top 10)
Nicholas County High School – Jasmine Hopson
Nitro High School – Daniel Carte
Parkersburg High School – Brittany Ward
Philip Barbour High School – Tara Rice
Richwood High School – Jasmine Jantuah
Ripley High School – Jeremiah Franklin
Shady Spring High School – Kasey Burgess
Sissonville High School – Chance Bragg
South Charleston High School – Cheyenne Baker
Spring Mills High School – Grace Fling
St. Albans High School – Rosemarie Tagayun
St. Marys High School – Willow Peyton (Runner-up)
Tyler Consolidated High School – Aubrey Smith (Top 5)
Valley High School-Wetzel – Bella Wyatt
Webster County High School – Logan Vandevender
Weir High School – Tanner Finsley
Westside High School – Riley Lester
Wheeling Park High School – Ava Mick
Woodrow Wilson High School – Hailey Blake
Wyoming East High School – Ty Eller (Top 10)
MEDIA NOTE: The following link includes photographs of 2023 Poetry Out Loud winner Morgan Sprouse. Photograph number 3 includes runner-up Willow Peyton (L) and emcee Bil Lepp (R). https://wvculture.zenfolio.com/p501912599