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NEA announces 2022 ‘Poetry Ourselves’ winners

Top prize-winner a familiar name

The various winners of the Poetry Out Loud competitions held in U.S. states and jurisdictions reach their status by reciting the works of others. But you might not know that there's plenty of original content coming from them.

[caption id="attachment_49532" align="alignright" width="250"] Emily Allison. Provided photo.[/caption] Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2022 winners of  Poetry Ourselves, a companion competition open to the Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions that highlights their original poetry. South Carolina is represented by our back-to-back Poetry Out Loud champion, Emily Allison of Greenville. The 2022 Poetry Ourselves winners are: Student participants of the Poetry Out Loud program memorize and recite works of classic and contemporary poetry. Recognizing that many Poetry Out Loud participants also create their own work, Poetry Ourselves was launched in 2016 as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary as a way to encourage student creativity. Each champion had the opportunity to submit an original work of poetry in one of two categories—written or spoken—which were judged by poet Chen Chen. “By exploring a wide range of poetry through Poetry Out Loud, students can find inspiration to express themselves creatively in other ways,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts. “Thank you to this year’s Poetry Ourselves winners for sharing their own poetry with us.” Winning poems are shared through the National Endowment for the Arts’ website at the links above.

Poetry Out Loud national semifinals this weekend!

All 55 Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions will compete in the Poetry Out Loud national semifinals, webcast this Sunday, May 1, 2022 beginning at 12 p.m. ET at Arts.gov/Poetry-Out-Loud. The top nine students will move on to the national finals, which will be webcast on Sunday, June 5, 2022, and include the announcement of the 2022 national champion, who will receive a grand prize of $20,000. Visit Arts.gov for full details.

About Poetry Out Loud

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Students memorize and recite poems they select from an anthology of more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud. For more information about Poetry Out Loud and how to participate in the 2022-2023 program, visit PoetryOutLoud.org

Jason Rapp

Greenville student repeats as S.C. Poetry Out Loud champ

Upstate students sweep honors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A Greenville high school student is now two-for-two against her statewide Poetry Out Loud peers after repeating as South Carolina champion over the weekend in the state finals.

[caption id="attachment_49532" align="alignright" width="300"] Emily Allison. Provided photo.[/caption] Emily Allison, now a sophomore and now at the Fine Arts Center of Greenville, made it two in a row Saturday, earning first prize over seven other finalists in a virtual competition. Allison was champion last year in her first experience in a contest that often favors more experienced students. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to South Carolina 9-12 graders. Each finalist was recorded reciting three poems via a video conference with Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator Bonita Peeples and prompter Thomas Maluck, teen services librarian for Richland Library. The videos were sent to the four judges and an accuracy judge. After two rounds of evaluation, the top three scorers proceeded to the final round. They were: Allison; Harper Scott of Greenville who also attends the Fine Arts Center; and Catherine Wooten, who attends Westgate Christian School in Spartanburg. Allison prevailed in the final round, and Scott was named runner-up. As state winner, Allison will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition among a total of 55 state and jurisdictional finalists for the chance to win the $20,000 first prize. The 2022 national finals will also be held virtually. A semifinal round is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 and the national finals will take place Sunday, June 5. Both will stream on arts.gov, website of the National Endowment for the Arts. Al Black, poet and arts advocate; Ray McManus, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Michele Reese, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Kimberly J. Simms, author and educator, served as judges. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. The SCAC’s Kevin Flarisee of Columbia was accuracy judge.

About Poetry Out Loud

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Learn more at PoetryOutLoud.org.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Eight competitors reach S.C. Poetry Out Loud finals

State finals to be held virtually March 5


for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – From among statewide submissions, judges selected eight finalists who now have a chance to represent South Carolina this spring in the national finals of Poetry Out Loud—an annual, nationwide recitation contest.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud South Carolina (POLSC), partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to the state’s high schools. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance. POLSC Coordinator Bonita Peeples once again arranged a 2021/2022 competition with a virtual structure. The first step, now complete, was inviting students in grades 9-12 to submit videos to twin regional competitions, each with its own set of different judges. Both regionals yielded four finalists to compete in the competition’s next step: virtual state finals on Saturday, March 5, 2022. The eight finalists come from four schools in Charleston, Greenville, and Spartanburg. Students from Region 1, roughly the lower half of the state, all come from Charleston County School of the Arts. They are:
  • Tea Allen
  • Kenneth Carrington
  • Natalie Holland
  • Adam Maierle
Finalists from Region 2, which is roughly the upper half of the state, represent three schools. The students are:
  • Emily Allison, 2021 state champion (Fine Arts Center of Greenville)
  • Harper Scott (Fine Arts Center of Greenville)
  • Catherine Wooten (Westgate Christian School of Spartanburg)
  • Caleb Xiao, 2021 first runner-up (Spartanburg Day School in Boiling Springs)
Adjudicating the virtual finals will be veteran Poetry Out Loud judges Al Black, Dr. Ray McManus, Michelle Reese, and Kimberly J. Simms. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. Each finalist will meet virtually to record three one-take recitations with Peeples and a prompter. The judges will review the recitations and determine a state champion and first runner-up. The state finals champion will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition for the chance to win a $20,000 first prize. Cancelled in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the national finals returned virtually in 2021 and will be virtual again in 2022. Find out more about the national competition here.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release. Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899.

Jason Rapp

Greenville 9th grader is S.C. Poetry Out Loud champ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Greenville High School 9th grade student Emily Allison is the 2021 South Carolina Poetry Out Loud champion after winning the annual recitation contest’s first virtual competition. [caption id="attachment_46626" align="alignright" width="200"]Headshot of Emily Allison, blonde female student with green eyes wearing a deep magenta sleeveless top. Emily Allison[/caption] Allison’s body of work earned her first prize over seven other finalists in her first experience with the competition. In lieu of the usual in-person state final competition, each finalist was recorded reciting three poems via a video conference with Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator Bonita Peeples and prompter Thomas Maluck, teen services librarian for Richland Library. The videos were sent to the four judges and an accuracy judge. After two rounds of evaluation, the top three scorers proceeded to the final round. They were: Allison; Teagan Domm, a junior at Academy Magnet High School in Charleston; and Caleb Xiao, sophomore at Spartanburg Day School who was first runner-up. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to the state’s high schools. Poetry Out Loud looked different in the 2020/2021 school year out of necessity. Peeples arranged a competition with a different structure for students in grades 9-12. Participants across the state submitted videos that were judged in twin regional competitions that yielded eight finalists, one of whom was Allison. As state winner, Allison will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition for the chance to win the $20,000 first prize. The 2021 national finals will also be held virtually. A semi-final round is scheduled for Sunday, May 2 and the national finals will take place Thursday, May 27. Both will stream on arts.gov, website of the National Endowment for the Arts. Al Black, poet and arts advocate; Ray McManus, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Michele Reese, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Kimberly J. Simms, author and educator, served as judges. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. The SCAC’s Kevin Flarisee of Columbia was accuracy judge.

About Poetry Out Loud

Now in its 15th year, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on social media.

Jason Rapp