Family, friends, and teachers packed a room at Caroline County Public Library on February 4 to witness the first of three regionals for the 2016-17 Poetry Out Loud competition. Presented by CityLit's executive director Carla Du Pree and MSAC program representative Christine Stewart led a group of eight students through three rounds of excellent recitation.
After two hours, three winners were selected: third place to Nick Sesler, James M. Bennett High School in Salisbury; second place to Katelynn Cherry, Saint Michaels High School; and first place to Amy Nguyen, Saints Peter and Paul High School in Easton. The path to victory for Amy included recitation of "Often rebuked, yet always back returning" by Emily Bronte; "The Walking" by Theodore Roethke; and "Broken Promises" by David Kirby.
The complete roster of participants included (l-r) Dena Wake, Severna Park High School; Cayla Turner, Indian Creek School; Sean Priest, North Caroline High School; James Duley, Southern High School; Shantelle Handy, Wicomico High School; Nick Sesler; Amy Nguyen; and Katelynn Cherry.
Judges were Amanda Newell, poet and English teacher at the Gunston School in Centreville; Marina Dowdall, executive director of the Caroline County Council of Arts; and James Dissette, a publisher and editor who founded Chester river Press in Chestertown.
Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide poetry recitation competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Maryland contest is presented by a partnership between CityLit Project and the Maryland State Arts Council