Madison, WI – Daeja Loew, a senior at Altoona High School, won the State Final championship of the Wisconsin Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition held Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Loew competed against eight other winning contestants from across the state in the poetry recitation contest.
As WI's 2020 state champion, Ms. Loew wins $200 and advanced to the National contest, which was to be held in Washington, D. C., at the end of April, where the state champions compete for scholarship funding. That contest has been cancelled due to COVID-19. In the weeks to come, organizers will explore ways to honor the achievements of the 2020 POL state champions.
Miss Loew also won WI's 2019 State Final competition, and went on to win the title of 2019 National Poetry Out Loud Champion for personally-written poetry.
WI's 2020 POL First Runner-Up is Lauren Broman, a junior at Wrightstown High School, who won $100.
Brent Starry was emcee of WI's contest, while educator Keri Hornung, poet/educator Andrea Musher, and Jacki Martindale (our former WI Poetry Out Loud Coordinator) judged the event. Dr. Stan Marcus provided musical interludes. Participating in the finals were students from Altoona High School, Lodi High School, Riverside University High School, the University School of Milwaukee, and Wrightstown High School, all of whom had placed at the top of four regional competitions across the state. Dr. Penny Parsons, Madison, is the 2020 POL Coordinator of the event on behalf of the Wisconsin Arts Board.
Poetry Out Loud is a national high school poetry recitation contest sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts through the Wisconsin Arts Board. More than three thousand Wisconsin students competed in this year's contest. The national contest awards more than $50,000 to students. All high schools in the US are eligible to participate in this contest through a school's lead teacher. More information is available at www.poetryoutloud.org.