CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Webster County High School student Tyler Ray will represent West Virginia at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contestin Washington, D.C. on April 25-26.
Ray 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.
Ray recited Larkinesque by Michael Ryan, Novel by Arthur Rimbaud and Siblings by Patricia Smith.
Ealy’s poems included Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lions by Sandra McPherson and The Albatross by Kate Bass.
Thirty-six 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 Loudis 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 Loudcompetition 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 division.
For more information about Poetry Out Loudand the state semifinal and final competition, contact Wolfe at (304) 558-0240 or [email protected].
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, 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:
MEDIA NOTE: A photograph of the winner and runner-up is attached here. Photo credit should read Poetry Out Loud 2017 Winner Tyler Ray (l) and Runner-Up Sarah Beth Ealy (r). Photo by Stephen Brightwell, West Virginia Division of Culture and History.