Portsmouth Abbey School Junior to Travel to Washington, D.C., to Compete in the Poetry Out Loud Finals, April 30-May 2

Published on Thursday, April 18, 2024

Providence, R.I. – Portsmouth Abbey School junior Jennifer Shon will represent Rhode Island in Washington, D.C., for the 2024 Poetry Out Loud National Finals, April 30-May 2. In March, Shon won the 19th R.I. Poetry Out Loud State Championship with the recitation of "Say Grace" by Emily Jungmin Yoon.

At the Poetry Out Loud championships in Washington, D.C., Shon will join state winners from throughout the country to compete in regional semifinals. The winners of the regionals advance to the Finals. 

Visit 2024 Poetry Out Loud National Finals at https://www.poetryoutloud.org/.

"We wish Jennifer the best of luck and thank her for all of the hard work and hours of preparation she put in to representing our state," said RISCA's Executive Director, Lynne McCormack. "RISCA is proud to partner with the NEA and the Poetry Foundation for this venerable arts education program, which inspires a life-long appreciation of great classic and contemporary poems."

A total of $50,000 in awards and school or organizational stipends will be awarded at the National Finals, including $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, and $10,000 and $5,000 for the second- and third-place finalists. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded for Poetry Out Loud. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals are administered by Mid Atlantic Arts.

Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a schoolwide competition, then to the state championships, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D.C. Since its inception, 3.6 million students from 14,000 high schools nationwide have participated in Poetry Out Loud. 

On March 10, 14 R.I. high school students, representing schools from around the state, competed in the state's Poetry Out Loud competition at the Greenwich Odeum. Prior to the competition, competitors spent most of the school year studying poetry through learning, memorization, and performance.

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a partnership with RISCA, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. For more information, visit Poetryoutloud.org.

National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit NEA website. www.arts.gov. 

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes and programs.