CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Tim DiFazio, a Morgantown High School senior, represented West Virginia April 29 -30 at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in Washington, D.C.  DiFazio, who won the state competition earlier this year, recited La Figlia che Piange by T.S. Eliot, To a Mouse by Robert Burns and Sign by George Starbuck. Thirty students from high schools in 23 West Virginia counties competed in the state semifinals; the top 10 contestants competed in the state finals.

DiFazio joined 52 other champions from across the country, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for the Poetry Out Loud semifinals at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on April 29.

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 week, Cicely Bosley, Arts in Education coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, will visit St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School in Clarksburg, for its unofficial Poetry Out Loud contest for elementary school students, which uses the NEA guidelines and resources. She also will travel to Morgantown High School for its Senior Awards Day program to present DiFazio with his state trophy and Morgantown High School Principal Robert L. DeSantis with the traveling school Poetry Out Loud trophy.

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.

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