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12 Finalists to Compete in Poetry Out Loud Contest at High School

The finalists will compete Wednesday to represent the high school in the regional competition.

Photo Credit Amy Simon
Photo Credit Amy Simon

Submitted by Amy Simon

Poetry is in the air and West Orange High School is the place!  The Finals Competition for West Orange High School’s Poetry Out Loud Competition will take place on Wednesday January 8th, 2014 at 7:00PM in the West Orange High School Auditorium.  

Twelve finalists from the 9th through 12th grades are competing to the represent West Orange High in regional competition and tickets to the event are $2.00 per adult; students with a WOHS I.D. get in for $1.00.  Ninety-four students competed in oral recitation during the month of November to reach the finals.  

Finalists must memorize and orally deliver two poems, one contemporary and one written by a pre-20th century poet.  The top three scorers after two rounds will go on to a final round and recite a third poem.  The highest scorer will represent West Orange High School in the Regional Competitions on February 5, 2014 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.  

The twelve finalists are: 9th graders Divya Anand, Christian Onyechi, 10th graders Annlyn Fernandes, Adrienne Saldanha, and Kyla Trinidad, 11th graders Zalen King, Amber McCleese, Rachel Santos and Cory Wong, and 12th graders Shreya Anand, Jalisa Delauney and Jade Remar.

All poetry must be sanctioned by the Poetry Out Loud Competition.  The judges for this event will be community leaders and writers including poets Robert Gibbons, Frank Niccoletti, Kierra McCall, Former New Jersey State Winner Clarissa Lotson, and educator Janet Mandel.  The Accuracy Judge will be Language Arts Supervisor at West Orange High School, Karen Perry.  The evening’s finals competition is being hosted by Escriptus, the West Orange High School chapter of the National English Honor Society.

West Orange High School finalists have had an impressive track record in this prestigious competition, having won the New Jersey Poetry Out Loud State Competition in 2011 and ranking as first runner up in 2012.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level and encourages exposure to poetry as well as performance. Winners advanced in the school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.  

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Only high school students may participate.  The event is open to the public and should be exciting for all.  Contact person for the 1/8/14 event is Tynia Thomassie, 973-669-5400 x 20558.


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