Polytech’s Sturgis wins Delaware poetry contest

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Hannah Sturgis, a junior at Polytech High School, celebrates her win in this year’s Poetry Out Loud Delaware competition on Feb. 23 at the Smyrna Opera House with Delaware poet laureates Al Mills, left, and Nnamdi Chukwuocha. (Submitted photo/Kathleen Buckalew)

SMYRNA — From a field of more than 18 Delaware high schools students, Hannah Sturgis, a junior from Polytech High School, earned the title of 2016 Poetry Out Loud Delaware state champion at the state finals held at the Smyrna Opera House on Feb. 23.

The first runner-up was Brandon Dawson from Middletown High School, and the second runner-up was Jordan McMillan from Sanford School in Wilmington.

Hannah’s final recitation, “Infelix” by Adah Isaacs Menken, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found at poetryoutloud.org.

For her winning presentation, Hannah will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington with a chaperone to compete at the national championship from May 2-4. Polytech High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

Hannah, a junior at Polytech, focuses in Broadcast Media. She hopes to one day inspire others through performance and the written word. In college, she hopes to major in English and minor in musical theatre.

In her spare time, she enjoys writing her own poems, something that Poetry Out Loud has inspired her to do. Hannah also enjoys reading, writing short plays, and acting in her local and school theatre programs.

Brandon Dawson, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Middletown High School will receive $200 towards the purchase of poetry books.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

Registration information for the 2017 Poetry Out Loud program will be available on this website in late May.

For more immediate information about registering your school, contact JoAnn Balingit at joann.balingit@state.de.us.

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