High School Students to Perform at Poetry Contest

PIERRE, S.D. – Eight South Dakota high school students will share their talents and the work of great poets while competing for the state title at the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest Monday, March 16, in Sioux Falls.

Poetry Out Loud, a national arts education program, starts in the classroom and encourages the study of poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. South Dakota’s program is administered by the South Dakota Arts Council with help from Arts South Dakota and South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The state finalists qualified from a preliminary, video round. The finalists include: Grace Johanson, Flandreau High School; Peyton Mollman, Harding County High School; Tim Stolp, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School; Antonio Rojas, Little Wound High School; Suki Ford, Vermillion High School; Blake Anderson, Sioux Falls Washington High School; Rainie Devine, Watertown High School; and Charlie Berg, West Central High School.

Three students will also share their original poetry as part of a separate competition held in conjunction with Poetry Out Loud. Delilah Rouse, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School; Tim Stolp, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School, and Olivia Simmermon, Watertown High School, are each being recognized for their poetry. 

The contest will begin at 1 p.m., CDT, March 16, in the auditorium at Edison Middle School, 2101 S. West Ave., Sioux Falls. It is free to attend and open to the public. A live-stream of the event can be viewed at http://www.sdpb.org/poetryoutloud/. 

Poetry Out Loud was created in partnership by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation with the collaboration of state arts agencies. It is intended to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

The South Dakota Arts Council, an office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, is a state agency serving South Dakotans and their communities through the arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of South Dakota. 

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of the Office of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.