Monday, February 13, 2023

DDOA Announces Finalists for Poetry Out Loud State Competition

The content of this post comes from a press release provided by the Delaware Division of the Arts...

Following a three-year hiatus, Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud State Finals returns for the first in-person competition since 2020. The recitation contest will be hosted at the Smyrna Opera House on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 7:00pm. Twelve student finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC from May 8-10, 2023. The event is free to the public and seating is limited.

At their school, students selected and recited works from an anthology of more than 1,200 poems. Their teachers or facilitators ran their school’s local Poetry Out Loud competition that then selected a winner to be moved on to the state finals.

“Congratulations to the twelve talented and creative high school students who have been selected as semi-finalists in the 2023 Delaware Poetry Out Loud competition,” says Division Director Jessica Ball. “Your hard work and passion for the arts is truly inspiring. Keep up the great work and we can’t wait to see where your passion for the arts takes you in the future.”

The 2023 Delaware State semi-finalists are:
  • Bekah Booth, Delaware Valley Classical School
  • Maiss Hussein, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
  • Emily Roth, MOT High School
  • Aiden Morris, Mount Sophia Academy
  • Lale Ergen, Newark Charter High School
  • Julia Nowaczyk, Padua Academy
  • Hunter Brown, Red Lion Christian Academy
  • Abigail Ehemann, Saint Mark’s High School
  • Kaylee Rathbone, Sanford School
  • Joelle Caternor, Smyrna High School
  • Morgan Burnett, Sussex Central High School
  • Ololade Olubowale, Tatnall School
Poetry Out Loud — presented in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Poetry Foundation — 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. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

The Delaware state champion will receive $200 and will advance to the national finals where $50,000 in awards and school/organizational stipends will be distributed. The representing school or organization of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for their school or organization. 


  1. Exciting news from DDOA as they unveil the finalists for the Poetry Out Loud State Competition! It's a celebration of creativity and expression, much like the personalized touch found in custom embroidered hats near me, where individuality shines through every stitch