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Nine Maryland Students Compete for Poetry Out Loud State Title

Nine Maryland Students Compete for Poetry Out Loud State Title


Winner advances to national final

March 05, 2013Press Release

Baltimore, MD (March 5, 2013) More than 16,000 Maryland students across 16 counties have competed in the 2013 Poetry Out Loud (POL) national poetry recitation contest. This Saturday, the top nine who advanced through POL school, county and regional competitions meet in Baltimore to vie for the title of Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Champion, and the chance to represent Maryland at the POL National Finals in April.

Co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the POL contest is administered by state arts councils across the country. 

Prior to the competition, finalists select 3 eligible poems from the POL vault. After each of the three competition rounds, a panel of four judges evaluates the recitations based on the criteria of physical presence; voice and articulation; dramatic appropriateness; level of difficulty; evidence of understanding; and overall performance.  Judges tally the evaluations after the first and second rounds, and the three top-scoring students advance to round 3. The student with the highest score at the end of the third round is the 2013 POL Maryland Champion.

WHAT:        Poetry Out Loud Maryland State Final Competition
WHEN:       Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE:     Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Auditorium at the Baltimore Museum of Art
WHO:         Nine student finalists:

  • Rebecca Schisler, Saints Peter & Paul High School, Talbot County
  • Kieran Murphy, James M. Bennett High School, Wicomico County
  • Michael Li, James M. Bennett High School, Wicomico County
  • Blessed Sheriff, Richard Montgomery High School, Montgomery County
  • Malaysia Johnson, Calvert High School, Calvert County
  • Taylor Covert, Southern High School, Anne Arundel County
  • Brianne Wade, Boonsboro High School, Washington County
  • Johana Gourdin, Dulaney High School, Baltimore County 
  • Cameron Smith, St. Paul’s School, Baltimore County

The event is hosted by Aaron Henkin of WYPR’s The Signal, with performances by Emmy-nominated singer/songwriter ellen cherry and Baltimore-based improvising chorus, Parallel Octave. Nora Sandler of Montgomery County, now a junior at University of Chicago, returns to the Maryland POL State Final as a judge. In 2010, she was the Maryland State Champion and went on to place third at the national competition.  

An agency of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Maryland State Arts Council grantees generate $1 billion in economic activity and support more than 11,000 jobs and $37.8 million in state and local tax revenue. Source: Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland: FY2011. For information call (410) 767-6555 or TTY (410) 333-4519.