Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Friday, March 8, 2024

Maiss Hussein is Poetry Out Loud's Delaware Finalist

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

Senior Maiss Hussein (pictured at right) from Paul M. Hodgson Vo-Tech High School has been named the Delaware State Finalist for the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Maiss will represent Delaware and advance to the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, National Finals in Washington, DC on April 30-May 2, 2024, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Hussein is currently in the dental program and plans to attend Dental Hygiene school. She loves poetry and has always had an interest in literature. Recently, she has started to write her own poetry. 
Hussein also works with her school's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program, which correlates with her interest in literature and culture. She has great pride in her Palestinian heritage and loves to find connections between her culture and poetry.

Photo by Sam Wilson, Moonloop Photography

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. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

DDOA Announces 2022 Individual Artist Fellowship Awardees

The content of this post was taken from a press release by the Delaware Division of the Arts

Twenty-five Delaware artists are being recognized by the Delaware Division of the Arts for the high quality of their artwork. Work samples from 132 Delaware choreographers; composers; musicians; writers; and folk, media, and visual artists were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals, considering demonstrated creativity and skill in their art form. The 25 selected fellows reside throughout Delaware including Dover, Georgetown, Hockessin, Lewes, Magnolia, Middletown, Newark, Smyrna, Townsend, and Wilmington.

Awards were given in three categories: $10,000 for the Masters Award; $6,000 for the Established Professional Award; and $3,000 for the Emerging Professional Award. Fellows are required to offer at least one exhibit or performance during the upcoming year, providing an opportunity for the public to experience their work. Additionally, the work of the Fellows will be featured in a group exhibition, Award Winners XXII, at the Biggs Museum of American Art tentatively set for June 3 through July 23, 2022.

“Individual Artist Fellowship grants recognize Delaware artists for their outstanding work and commitment to artistic excellence,” said Jessica Ball, director of Delaware Division of the Arts. “The financial award allows them to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs to advance their careers. The Division of the Arts understands that artists have been hard hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic and was pleased to be able to allocate some additional funds to recognize more artists this year.”

The Masters Fellowship is open to different artistic disciplines each year. In Fiscal Year 2022, Masters Fellowship applications were accepted in Literary Arts and Media Arts from artists who had previously received an Established Professional Fellowship. In addition to exemplifying high artistic quality, Masters Fellowship applicants must demonstrate their involvement and commitment to the arts in Delaware and beyond. Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2022 Individual Artist Fellows.

Linda Blaskey has been awarded this year’s Masters Fellowship in Literature: Poetry. Blaskey’s work has been chosen for inclusion in Best New Poets, 2014, and in North Carolina’s Poetry on the Bus project for National Poetry Month. She is poetry/interview editor emerita for Broadkill Review, is coordinator for the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, and current editor for the new online journal, Quartet. She organized a presentation of Icelandic poetry for the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival, and her work was included in Southern Delaware Choral Society’s presentation of Haydn: “Mass in the Time of War.” She sat on the panel, “Collaborative Publishing,” for Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival at Frostburg State University. Blaskey’s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and she is the author of four poetry collections, two of which are collaborations, one forthcoming in 2022. She lives with her husband on a small horse/goat farm in Sussex County, Delaware.

2022 Individual Artist Fellows
Masters Award ($10,000)
  • Linda Blaskey, Lincoln - Literature: Poetry
Established Professional Award ($6,000)
  • JoAnn Balingit, Newark - Literature: Creative Nonfiction
  • Joseph Barbaccia, Georgetown - Visual Arts: Crafts
  • Tim Broscious, Townsend - Music: Contemporary Performance
  • Jamie Brunson, Wilmington - Literature: Playwriting
  • Caleb Curtiss, Newark - Literature: Poetry
  • t. a. hahn, Middletown - Visual Arts: Sculpture
  • Jeff Knoettner, Wilmington - Jazz: Performance
  • Roger Matsumoto, Newark - Visual Arts: Photography
  • Isai Jess Muñoz, Hockessin - Music: Solo Recital
  • Mia Muratori, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Tad Sare, Wilmington - Media Arts: Video/Film
  • Aaron Terry, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Works on Paper
  • William Torrey, Middletown - Literature: Fiction
Emerging Professional Award ($3,000)
  • Stephanie Boateng, Newark - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Christina Durborow, Wilmington - Literature: Creative Nonfiction
  • Kiara Florez, Magnolia - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Gregory Hammond, Wilmington - Literature: Fiction
  • Jim Hawkins, Smyrna - Literature: Playwriting
  • Gail Husch, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Crafts
  • Alice Morris, Lewes  - Literature: Poetry
  • Maia Palmer, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Works on Paper
  • TANKSLEY, Middletown - Music: Contemporary Performance
  • Leanna Thongvong, Dover - Folk Art: Visual Arts
  • Katie West, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Photography
To contact an individual artist, please email or call: Roxanne Stanulis, Program Officer, Artist Programs and Services, or 302.577.8283. The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowship applications will be Monday, August 1, 2022.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Rebecca Wisniewski Named Delaware Poetry Out Loud Champion

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

Rebecca Wisniewski of Milford, Delaware's Poetry Out Loud Champion
From a field of 10 Delaware high school students, Rebecca Wisniewski, a senior from Milford High School, earned the title of 2021 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held virtually on March 2, 2021. The first runner-up was Lia Dougherty from Sanford School in Wilmington, and the second runner-up was Janelle Carter of Delaware Valley Classical School in New Castle.

Rebecca is a member of the school drama club and has acted in plays and musical for years. She unexpectedly found that learning poetry has made her a better performer in general, stating, “ have to put yourself in the background – while you are forming a deeper connection to the pieces. Reciting a poem means you have to pull from your emotions. It’s about being self-aware, even while forming a deep connection to the voices in the poems.” Ms. Wisniewski also took part in Poetry Out Loud previously in her junior year.

Wisniewski chose poems this year with very different energies. “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert, which Wisniewski calls “a tricky poem,” challenged her with its seeming sarcasm about a somber subject – domestic abuse. “I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain” by Emily Dickinson felt manic and mournful, and “has so much room inside it to perform.” Her favorite, “How to Triumph Like a Girl”, by Ada Limon, was, in Rebecca’s words, “fun, upbeat and has a positive message.” All of the poems scored high marks with the judges.

For her winning presentation, Wisniewski will receive $200 and will compete at the National Semifinals which will be held virtually on Sunday, May 2nd beginning at Noon on the National Endowment for the Arts website, Milford High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials for its school library. Lia Dougherty, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Sanford School will receive $200 for its school library.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Delaware's Poets Laureate (Twin Poets) Receive $50K Award for Community Poetry Project

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

The Academy of American Poets announced today that the Delaware Poets Laureate, Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Al Mills, also known as the Twin Poets, have received $50,000 to launch Write Now!, an art-based community building and engagement series, including workshops, readings and service projects, focused on youth in communities impacted by gun violence and fellow veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The series will culminate with the Write Now! Poetry Festival and will take place in April 2021.

The brothers and identical twins are Licensed Master Social Workers and founders of Art For Life – Delaware, a non-profit youth and community development organization rooted in the arts. The Twin Poets were the subjects of award-winning documentaries: Why I Write and Art For Life; which chronicle their artistic social change efforts. Al is an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD and Nnamdi is a State Representative and professor at Delaware State University.

The Delaware Poets Laureate are two of the 23 individuals that were announced as 2020 Poets Laureate Fellows. These 23 individuals serve as Poets Laureate of states, cities, counties, and the Navajo Nation and will be leading civic poetry programs in their respective communities in the year ahead. They will each receive $50,000 (the Twin Poets will receive $50,000 in total) for a combined total of $1.1 million. In addition, the Academy will also provide $66,500 to 12 local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have agreed to support the fellows’ proposed projects.

“As we face the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are turning to poetry for comfort and courage. We are honored and humbled in this moment of great need to fund poets who are talented artists and community organizers, who will most certainly help guide their communities forward,” said Jennifer Benka, President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.

Through its Poets Laureate Fellowship program, the Academy has become the largest financial supporter of poets in the nation. The fellowship program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which, in January of this year, awarded the Academy $4.5 million. The award will fund the program in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

“We are gratified to support the poets laureate fellows as they engage their communities around the unprecedented challenges of our moment, making work that provides meaning, brings beauty, and helps us, in Lucille Clifton’s words, ‘sail through this to that,’” said Elizabeth Alexander, poet and President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The 2020 Poets Laureate Fellows and the communities they serve are: Honey Bell-Bey (Cuyahoga County, OH), Tina Cane (Rhode Island), Tina Chang (Brooklyn, NY), Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Al Mills aka Twin Poets (Delaware), Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix, AZ), Beth Ann Fennelly (Mississippi), Angelo Geter (Rock Hill, SC), Margaret Gibson (Connecticut), Rodney Gomez (McAllen, TX), Elizabeth Jacobson (Santa Fe, NM), Stuart Kestenbaum (Maine), Susan Landgraf (Auburn, WA), Maria Lisella (Queens, NY), Porsha Olayiwola (Boston, MA), Alexandria Peary (New Hampshire), Emmy Pérez (Texas), Mary Ruefle (Vermont), Janice Lobo Sapigao (Santa Clara County, CA), John Warner Smith (Louisiana), Laura Tohe (Navajo Nation), Amie Whittemore (Murfreesboro, TN), and Assétou Xango (Aurora, CO).

Additional information about the Academy of American Poets 2020 Poets Laureate Fellows and their projects is available on the Academy’s website.

About the Delaware Poet LaureateDelaware’s Poet Laureate is an honorary position appointed by, and serving at the pleasure of, the Governor. The Poet Laureate serves as an advocate, educator, and presenter of poetry throughout the state. Delaware’s Poet Laureate program is managed by the Delaware Division of the Arts. The Division promotes the Poet Laureate’s events and activities and manages the calendar of appearances and provides a stipend to the Poet Laureate for appearances at nonprofit organizations. More information about the program is available at:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Meet Delaware Author/Poet, Corey Banana

Author/Poet Corey Banana. Photo by Tyler Collins.
A’Nyezah Richards (AKA "Corey Banana") is an author, poet, and model from New Castle, Delaware who began writing at age 13. In 2015, Corey graduated vocational high school and went on to study at Wesley College, majoring in Law and Justice Studies. She completed her first book, Dust On The Record, in 2018 and will soon publish her second book, Vessels.

Delaware Arts Info recently met up for a Q&A with Corey.

How did you come to discover your passion for poetry?

I’ve been writing since I was 13, but my passion for poetry came from reading. Growing up, I read fantasy, sci-fi, romance, philosophy and self-help books. I started out writing short stories, and over time I started exploring poetry. I did research and learned about the styles and voices that poetry can take on. I was drawn to poetry because you can write and almost say exactly how you feel. There isn’t a certain 'way' to write poetry — you just write. For example, in other writing styles, you always capitalize “I” — in poetry, it can be lowercase and no one will question it.

Your first book was entitled, Dust On The Record. Where does that title come from?

Actually, I've never mentioned how the title came about. I’m a huge fan of the English musician King Krule. One day, I was watching an interview of his where he was explaining how feelings can be like dust on a record — sitting and piling up over time — and one day someone will walk on over to the record and blow the dust off. I thought, 'Wow, that’s exactly how I feel.' During the period when I was writing, I wanted someone to save me emotionally, and no one did. I thought to myself, 'Why not just name my book Dust On The Record?' In a way, my book saved me and meant that my vulnerability is normal; that it’s okay to feel things through.

When is Vessels due out? How will it differ from Dust On The Record?

A writer needs time and space to think, feel, smell and eat things inside and outside themselves (and I say this figuratively). To fully digest their next body of work, they need time to just lay things on the table without being rushed. In my opinion, the best artists never rush; they take their time. As a writer, you never want your next story to be like your last; the goal is to always perform better. Vessels will be a larger cultural and artistic conversation. I see it evoking and redefining the relationship of the female narrator. Challenging culture and the artistic community to accept a new genre of romance  subtle nature of love. Questions I’ll be exploring are: Can adultery be heroic? How do identification and possessiveness tie into forgiveness? When one confronts love, will it lead to seductive illusions stemming from childhood? I think romance is a sensitive subject, and everyone has their own perspective, which I believe to be narrow-minded. Vessels will push people to believe love has many layers, and you must love each layer.

What does your new work represent about you, and how has your life changed in the past year?
I knew that I was a different person after Dust On The Record was completed. Looking through the pages, I realized I didn’t speak about romance as much as I wanted. I battle with whether or not I deserve to be in love. That’s an insecurity of mine. Vessels represents me becoming the woman I always dreamed I would be: Nurturing and loving myself more than I have before and actually believing I deserve to be loved or that I’m capable of loving. Examining these feelings changed my life completely because it changed the way I view myself and my relationships with others, both platonically and romantically. My friends and family notice how innocent my energy has become. I am calmer, more relaxed and nurturing now than I have ever been in my life. I’m normally detached and unsocial, so I have to be gentle writing Vessels, I can’t be hard on myself, I just have to write my story the way I feel and see it.

What is your favorite piece from your newest work and why?

I'd say Dance of Salome, and that was pretty hard to choose. Each poem is strong. I always go back to make sure each poem has its own theme, life and instruments. Dance of Salome is about a woman who is emotionally all over the place and afraid of judgment from her partner. In the end, he tells her, “You don’t have to love me; it’s up to you become what you want of you, not of me. I beg you a favour ... just be a woman for me, can you? An irresistible untamed natural woman.” That’s when she surrenders to him. She realizes this man didn’t care if she loved him or not; he just wanted her to be herself. What more can you ask of a man who wants to experience you while you experience yourself? It’s groundbreaking and refreshing.

Do you have any words of wisdom for young/emerging artists and entrepreneurs?

I'd say to go within yourself find what you are naturally great at. Study it, learn it and dedicate your time to that craft. Every true artist had to build from somewhere. It’s not given to us. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t always have the results you want. Push through your failures.

What's next for you? Where can people interact with you next?

Vessels is my main priority, I do have plans to write my first science fiction novel after Vessels is finished. I’ve been somewhat writing for that as well. It is a sensitive time for me right now because I am writing for Vessels, but once the project is completed, I'll have a book-signing event and hopefully a speaking tour as well. It will all unfold under the universe's timing. I just have to keep writing. My name is BeneathTheMooon on Instagram and tumblr, I get on every now and then to tease people with new writing of mine, get their opinions on romance and ask how they feel about the literature world. They may not believe it, but I’m more interested in their perspectives than my own. It’s refreshing to see how others think...and of course how many people actually read books!

What are your long-term goals as an artist?

My long term-goal is to constantly and constructively nurture myself with knowledge and love. I depend on those two things for my well-being and to write. I always look forward to the end of the year to reflect back on my skill and character. I always ask myself, "Did I take enough risks? Did I challenge myself enough? Who was I around a lot? Did I make new friends? Did I discover a new city or country?"

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Chelsea Anokye-Agyei to Represent Delaware in 2019 Poetry Out Loud Finals

Chelsea Anokye-Agyei in performance.
Photo by Joe del Tufo.
This post content comes from a Delaware Division of the Arts press release...

From an initial field of 20 Delaware high school students and then 12 state finalists, Chelsea Anokye-Agyei, a senior from Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, earned the title of 2019 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna on February 26. The first runner-up was Samuel McGarvey from Tall Oaks Classical School, and the second runner-up was Sarah Stevenson from Milford Senior High School.

Anokye-Agyei’s final recitation, The Albatross by Kate Bass, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

For her winning presentation, Anokye-Agyei will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington with a chaperone to compete at the national championship on April 29-May 1. Hodgson Vo-Tech High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Samuel McGarvey, the first runner-up, will receive $100, and Tall Oaks Classical School will receive $200 for its school library.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.