Arianna Diaz Wins Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition at South Orange Performing Arts Center
Plainfield, NJ – Arianna Diaz, an 11th grade student at Plainfield Public Schools’ Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies (PAAAS), won first place in the New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Region 5 Contest, held Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. The win makes Arianna a state finalist, able to compete in the N.J. State Poetry Out Loud Finals in March 2017, that will be held at The College of New Jersey.
Diaz competed against thirteen talented opponents who performed dramatic recitations of poems of varying lengths and genres. Among the poems she recited were Judith Ortiz Cofer’s, “El Olvido”, and Robert Browning’s “Life in a Love.”
Her teacher Amy Guzman said, “She is ecstatic about her win.”
The Poetry Out Loud is a national contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages high school students to learn about classical and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation. Finals for this competition will be held in Washington D.C. during a two-day event April 24-26.
Ms. Guzman said to her students, “Please congratulate Arianna when you see her in the halls or in your classes. Her hard work, dedication, perseverance, and authentic connection to poetry deserve recognition and applause.”
The participation of Ms. Diaz was also made possible by her teachers Ms. Jennifer Collins and Mr. Corey Carter, who organize and chaperone the school wide Poetry Out Loud Competition, every year.
New Jersey holds six Regional Contests throughout the state in February to determine the twelve students who will compete at the N.J. Poetry Out Loud State Finals. The schools that participated in the Region 5 were: West Orange, Cranford, West Essex, Summit, Orange, Essex County Vocational, Mother Seton Livingston, Newark Academy, Columbia, Madrasatu Ahlus Sunnah, Bruriah and Jonathan Dayton.