Poetry Out Loud Champion

Jess Davis is 2022's Wisconsin Poetry Out Loud Champion 

Madison - On March 5th, Jess Davis won the statewide Wisconsin Poetry Out Loud (POL) Competition held on the UW-Madison campus. Davis, a senior at Altoona High School who plans to focus on pre-medical studies at UW-Eau Claire next year, advanced to the Finals from the WI Northwest Regional competition.​

The Wisconsin Arts Board extends its congratulations to them and to State Runner-up Jay Foris-Potter, a sophomore at Altoona High School.  Noting that this high school has produced four of the last six WI Poetry Out Loud Champions, the Arts Board also congratulates the school's Forensics Coach, Angela Roloson! 

Undaunted by the pandemic, this year more than 1,800 Wisconsin high school students competed throughout our state in a process coordinated by State POL Coordinator Penny Parsons and supported by the Wisconsin Arts Board.  The 18 schools that encouraged these students stretched from Washington Island to Madison and from Racine to Eau Claire. 

As Wisconsin's Champion, Davis will advance to participate in the National Poetry Out Loud Semifinals on May 1.  The National Finals will follow on June 5th, 2022, streamed over the National Endowment for the Arts' website: www.arts.gov

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the nation's state arts agencies (of which the Wisconsin Arts Board is one), Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. 

The National Contest awards over $50,000 in scholarship funds, including a $20,000 award to the national champion. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and the state winner's school/organization receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school/organization.

Since the POL program began in 2005, more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. For more information, go to www.poetryoutloud.org, or contact Dr. Penny Parsons.  

The Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency, nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development, and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage.  Since 1973, the Arts Board has supported artists and art organizations with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the Wisconsin Arts Board, please visit artsboard.wisconsin.gov