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Arkansas Poetry Out Loud Plans Awards for Finalists

Arkansas Arts Council - Friday, June 26, 2020
  • This year's Arkansas Poetry Out Loud finalists soon will receive awards for their hard work leading up to the state competition, which was canceled in March. The Arkansas Arts Council will distribute monetary awards soon.

    “We are excited to be able to recognize our student competitors. It was incredibly disappointing to have to cancel the state championship when our students worked so hard for the opportunity to go to the national level,” said Drekkia Morning, Arts in Education program manager.

    Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation program for high school students nationwide. The program is a joint effort with the Poetry Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

    After months of dedicated work, students from schools across Arkansas had prepared for the state competition. The state champion would have represented Arkansas at the national level in Washington, D.C.However, the state and national events were canceled due to COVID-19.

    In order to honor the efforts of student participants, Poetry Out Loud is giving $1,000 to each state to distribute to finalists or to each state champion. The Arkansas Arts Council will distribute to all its finalists.

    “From analyzing poems to spending hours memorizing and honing their recitations, we know the extraordinary amount of hard work and personal effort that each student put into the program,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of NEA.

    Moving forward, the Arkansas Arts Council will continue to plan for the 2021 Poetry Out Loud competition. Registration for Arkansas Poetry Out Loud will open in August with state finals tentatively set for March 6. Staff will determine if the competition will be held virtually or at a physical location at a later date.

    Arkansas Poetry Out Loud Finalists are:

    • Cody Myers, 11th Grade, Highland High School
    • Jonah Windel, 11th Grade, Deer High School
    • Stinson Battisto, 11th Grade, Parker Chapel High School
    • Cierra D.G Dillard, 12th Grade, Little Rock Central High School
    • Felipe Aguirre, 12th Grade, Rogers Heritage High School
    • Lillian Phillips 12th Grade, Homeschool
    • Lydia Wood, 10th Grade, White Hall High School
    • Lia Lawson, 10h Grade, Wonderview High School
    • Diya Chakaraborty, 9th Grade, Arkansas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
    • Shanoah Lopp, 11th Grade,  Wynne High School
    • Emily Cornett, 11th Grade, Springdale High School
    • Rachel Sweningson, 12th Grade, Bryant High School
    • Daphne Dalrymple, 10th Grade, Mills University Studies High School
    • Tyraj’ah Matthews, 11th Grade, McClellan Magnet High School