Twenty students will compete in the Delaware Division of the Arts’ annual Poetry Out Loud state competition, beginning with a semifinal competition at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover.

This year’s semifinals judges are Jamie Brunson, executive director, First Person Arts, Philadelphia; Sherry Gage Chappelle, 2016 Individual Artist Fellow, poetry; Russell Endo, 2011 Individual Artist Fellow, poetry; Maggie Rowe, 2016 Individual Artist Fellow, poetry; and James Weiler, English/language arts instructor, Woodbridge High School.

Twelve finalists will move on to compete at the state finals to be held at 7 p.m. Fen. 26 at Smyrna Opera House, 7 W. South St. The finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent Delaware and advance to the National Finals held April 29-May 1 in Washington, D.C., where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

2019 Delaware State Semi-Finalists are Landon Hayes, Cape Henlopen High School; Jo Griffin, Concord High School; Emma Elliott, Dover High School; Chelsea Anokye-Agyei, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School; Amy Garcia Perez, Indian River High School; Tyler Keeler, Laurel Senior High School; Sarah Stevenson, Milford Senior High School; Nadia Sheikh, MOT Charter High School; Daniel Johnson, Mount Sophia Academy; Megan Chen, Newark Charter High School; Ashton Driver, Red Lion Christian Academy; Anne Rosenthal, Sanford School; Alex Dornenburg, Seaford Senior High School; Charmaine Pasicolan, St. Mark’s High School; Liliana Yenovkian, Sussex Academy of the Arts & Sciences; Brandon Greenlee, Sussex Central High School; Samuel McGarvey, Tall Oaks Classical School; Catherine Enslen, Ursuline Academy; Mariela Rivero, Wilmington Christian School; and James Tallman, Wilmington Friends School.

The competition encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

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