2016 National Winner Announced:
Congratulations to Virginia high school senior Ahkei Togun, the 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Champion! With recitations of poems by Henry Taylor, Cornelius Eady, and William Lisle Bowles, Ahkei was crowned champion from a field of approximately 317,000 student-competitors nationwide who participated in the 2016 program. Ahkei has participated in Poetry Out Loud since his freshman year of high school. He will be heading off to college in New York this fall where he will study acting.
Watch Togun’s award-winning skills in action. Here’s his recitation of “I’m a Fool to Love You” by Cornelius Eady.
About The Poetry Out Loud: 2016 Virginia Finals Competition
Twelve competitors from across the Commonwealth convened at the studios of WCVE PBS (Richmond) on March 18, 2016 to compete for the title of state champion and represent Virginia at the national competition in May. WCVE PBS recorded the Virginia finals for broadcast on April 18 on statewide public television. The program was formatted game-show style, with the Community Idea Stations’ own Alex Wiles hosting, along with a panel of judges who selected the Virginia champion.
Watch the complete 2016 program:
About The 2015 Competition
In March 2015, eleven regional finalists from across Virginia competed in the 2015 Poetry Out Loud state championship. The Community Idea Stations, in partnership with Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginia Education Association, recorded the competition for broadcast.
Watch the complete 2015 program:
Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.