CavanKerry Press was a proud supporter of the 2012 New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Competition. Joan and Teresa attended the finals on March 21 and were blown away by the poise, power and talent of the eight finalists.
See the below press release for more details on the event!
State Champion Named at NJ Poetry Out Loud Competition
Up Next: National Poetry Competition in Washington, DC
(Trenton, NJ) Kristin Tsuo, an eleventh grader from The Lawrenceville School, was named State Champion at the NJ Poetry Out Loud competition, a national poetry recitation program. The state finals took place today at the College of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theatre in Ewing. Ms. Tsuo will move on to represent New Jersey in the national finals in Washington, DC in May to compete against 52 other champions from every state and territory across the nation, all vying for the national title and the chance to win prizes including college scholarships.
Now in its seventh year, Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, and implemented by state arts councils across the country. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts sponsors NJ Poetry Out Loud and works closely with a network of partners to maximize the impact of the program. Program partners include Playwrights Theatre of NJ, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Mayo Performing Arts Center, Two River Theater, CavanKerry Press and Discover Jersey Arts, a cosponsored initiative of the Arts Council and ArtPride NJ Foundation. Support for the program is also provided by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.
“The growing popularity of Poetry Out Loud in New Jersey is proof that the program hits the mark with students, teachers, administrators and parents,” remarked State Arts Council Chair Ofelia Garcia. “Through the process of memorizing, interpreting and personalizing each poem, students are challenged to think critically and creatively, and to build the self confidence so vital for success no matter what career path they choose.”
The state finals are the culmination of a competition that began in the fall and included more than 19,000 students from 108 high schools and 1 homeschool association. The eight state finalists successfully competed in classroom, school, and regional-level contests before qualifying to compete in today’s competition. Along with Ms. Tsuo, Clarissa Lotson, a senior from West Orange High School, earned the title of State Runner-Up. Following is a list of the eight student finalists:
State Champion: Kristin Tsuo, The Lawrenceville School
State Runner-Up: Clarissa Lotson, West Orange High School
Sarah Finnan, Cinnaminson High School
Brianne Barker, Dumont High School
Daisha Davis, Essex County Vocational North 13th Street (Newark)
Jacob Ohring, High Tech High School (North Bergen)
Michael Chang, The Hun School of Princeton
Allison Beres, Vineland High School
Student recitations are evaluated by a panel of jurors using standardized, national criteria based on merit and accuracy. This year’s State Finals panel included special guest juror Frankie Faison, New Jersey resident and veteran stage, screen and television actor widely known for his starring role in the HBO series The Wire. Mr. Faison addressed the student finalists, remarking that he was in awe of their talent. He went on to describe his own experience with poetry recitation many years ago which, he said, brought him great joy and helped propel him to this point in his life.
Today’s winners receive cash awards and stipends provided by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation for the purchase of poetry books by their schools. State Champion Kristin Tsuo receives an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to compete in the national finals for prizes totaling $50,000 in awards and school stipends. All monetary prizes are provided by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation.
Learn more about New Jersey Poetry Out Loud, and watch clips from the state finals at www.jerseyarts.com/pol.