Padua’s Julia Nowaczyk is looking forward to reading two poems to a packed Smyrna Opera House in three weeks.
“It means a lot to me when I get to share poetry,” said Nowaczyk, a sophomore. “The poems I have picked for this competition center around a theme of community and family.”
She is one of 12 First State students who are in Delaware’s 2023 Poetry Out Loud state final competition, which will be held in-person for the first time in three years on Thursday, March 2.
The finalists are:
- Bekah Booth, Delaware Valley Classical School
- Maiss Hussein, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School
- Emily Roth, MOT High School
- Aiden Morris, Mount Sophia Academy
- Lale Ergen, Newark Charter High School
- Julia Nowaczyk, Padua Academy
- Hunter Brown, Red Lion Christian Academy
- Abigail Ehemann, Saint Mark’s High School
- Kaylee Rathbone, Sanford School
- Joelle Caternor, Smyrna High School
- Morgan Burnett, Sussex Central High School
- Ololade Olubowale, Tatnall School
They all advanced through their school competition after selecting and reciting works from an anthology of more than 1,200 poems.
The winner gets $200 and will advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. from May 8-10, with $50,000 in awards on the line.
From her performance, Nowaczyk hopes people take away the love and admiration she has for those whose words she shares with the world.
She will read “Genetics” by Jacqueline Woodson and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus in the state final.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program and annual competition for high school students.
The final is open to the public and is free, but seating is limited to 250 people.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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