From a competitive field of 13 Delaware high school students, Cecilia Ergueta, a junior from Wilmington Friends School, earned the title of 2017 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna, Del. on Feb. 28. The first runner-up was Shalyn Littlejohn from Hodgson Vo-Tech High School and the second runner-up was Sam McGarvey from Tall Oaks Classical High School.
Ergueta’s final recitation, The True-Blue American by Delmore Schwartz, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
For her winning presentation, Ergueta will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington with a chaperone to compete at the national championship on April 25 & 26. Wilmington Friends School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Shalyn Littlejohn, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Hodgson Vo-Tech High 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. Delaware's statewide competitors included students Andrew Dingwall, Cecilia Ergueta, Jane Krukiel, Tania Laurent, Glynnis Leach, Carly Lepore, Shalyn Littlejohn, Sam McGarvey, Shannon Murray, Natalie Nwanekwu, Mollie Russell, Nick Thompson and Ryan Washington.
The Delaware Division of the Arts sponsors the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest program in Delaware schools and the state finals. Competition begins at the classroom level in the fall and culminates with the state finals each spring. Twenty schools and over 2,000 Delaware students participated in the Poetry Out Loud program in the current academic year. The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest competition is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
Delaware Arts Info sends Cecilia all good wishes for a great performance in the national spotlight! GO DELAWARE!