CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Greenbrier East High School’s Neely Seams will represent West Virginia at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in Washington, D.C., on May 3-4.
Seams 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 5, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. She was the West Virginia State Champion last year as well.
Abbey Delk of Wheeling Park High School was the runner-up.
Seams recited Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg by Richard Hugo, Insomnia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Passing by Toi Derricotte.
Delk’s poems included Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Revenge by Letitia Elizabeth Landon and Requests for Toy Piano by Tony Hoagland.
Thirty-four students from high schools in 22 counties competed in the semifinals on Friday, March 4, 2016, 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.
Seams received $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals. Greenbrier East High School received a $500 stipend to buy poetry books. Her teacher is Kallie Cochran.
As the runner-up, Delk received $100 and $200 for her school library. Her teacher is Gail Adams.
West Virginia woodworking artist Matt Thomas of Gilmer County was commissioned to create the championship award and a companion trophy, which will be on display at Greenbrier East 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, more than 4,500 students and 112 teachers at 41 West Virginia high schools participated in the program.
Renée Margocee, director of arts for the division, said “We are proud to be the West Virginia state coordinators for a program that reaches thousands of young people and teachers across the country. The high quality and thoughtful curriculum enables teachers to inspire a love of classical and contemporary poetry.”
For more information about Poetry Out Loud and the state semifinal and final competition, contact Jim Wolfe, arts in education coordinator for the division, at (304) 558-0240.
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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
ALPHABETICAL SCHOOL LIST WITH STUDENT COMPETITORS:
Sydney Hosfeld – Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Upshur County
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