CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Morgantown High School’s Tim DiFazio will represent West Virginia at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in Washington, D.C., on April 28-30.
DiFazio won Saturday’s state competition hosted by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Grace Pritt of Hurricane High School was the runner-up.
DiFazio recited La Figlia che Piange by T. S. Eliot, To a Mouse by Robert Burns and Sign by George Starbuck. His teacher is Hannah Barnes.
Pritt’s poems included Love Song by Dorothy Parker, The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes and I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340) by Emily Dickinson. Her teacher is Ronda Moncada.
“I am blown away by the talent of these young people this year,” said Actor Chris Sarandon, who served as master of ceremonies. “The wonderful subtlety of their presentation and emotion is extraordinary.”
Thirty students from high schools in 23 counties competed in the semifinals on Friday, March 8, 2013, with the top 10 contestants competing Saturday for the state final. A complete list of semifinalists and their schools is attached. Top 10 winners are also noted.
DiFazio received $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals. West Virginia artists Chris Dutch and Robin Hammer, both of Charleston, created an artistic trophy for the winning student and a traveling trophy, which will be on display at DiFazio’s school for a year.
Morgantown High School also received a $500 stipend to buy poetry books.
As the runner-up, Pritt received $100 and $200 for her school library.
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.
WVDC&H’s Director of Arts Jeff Pierson said it is important to honor each of the participants for “sharing poetry with us and reminding us of its importance. Their engagement is keeping poetry alive.”
For more information about the Poetry Out Loud and the state semifinal and final competition, contact Cicely Bosley, 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.
POETRY OUT LOUD SEMIFINALISTS
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MEDIA NOTE: Photographs of the State Final Competition are available at our website at