Poetry Out Loud Finals Set for Jan. 8 at West Orange High School


WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School will host the annual Poetry Out Loud Competition finals on Jan. 8 at 7:00 pm. The event will be held in the WOHS Auditorium, which is located on the Pleasant Valley Way side of the complex. 

Twelve finalists from grades 9-12 will compete to represent West Orange High in the regional competition. Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for students with WOHS I.D.  

The competition began with 94 students who competed in oral recitations in class during the month of November. The following 12 finalists were selected from those students:

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Ninth-graders Divya Anand and Christian Onyechi

10th-graders Annlyn Fernandes, Adrienne Saldanha, and Kyla Trinidad

11th-graders Zalen King, Amber McCleese, Rachel Santos and Cory Wong

12th-graders Shreya Anand, Jalisa Delauney and Jade Remar

In 2011, Clarissa Lotson won the Poetry Out Loud competition at WOHS and went on to win the state competition. Shreya Anand, who won the competition in 2012, was the first runner up in the state competition.  

Finalists are required to memorize and orally present two poems. One must be contemporary, and one must be written by a pre-twentieth century poet. After two rounds, the top three scorers will advance to the final round and recite a third poem. The winner will have the highest score and represent the high school in regional competitions on February 5, 2014 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

All recited works must be approved by the Poetry Out Loud competition. The judges for this event will be community leaders and writers including poets Robert Gibbons, Frank Niccoletti, Kierra McCall, Former New Jersey State Winner Clarissa Lotson, and educator Janet Mandel. 

The Accuracy Judge will be Language Arts Supervisor at West Orange High School, Karen Perry. The evening’s finals competition is being hosted by Escriptus, the West Orange High School chapter of the National English Honor Society. State winners move on to the National competition.

The Poetry Out Loud Competition was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. 

Contact Tynia Thomassie at (973) 669-5400 x 20558, or at, for more information.

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