Local high school students had the chance to show off their creative abilities through poetry through the 2020-2021 Poetry Out Loud competition, hosted by Southwestern Illinois College Feb. 11.
Each contestant submitted recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 1,100 poems. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding and accuracy.
Seven area high schools participated including Collinsville High School, East St. Louis Senior High School, Edwardsville High School, Freeburg Community High School, Governor French Academy, Mascoutah High School and Wyvetter Younge Alternative Center.
Winning artists for the contest include:
Edwardsville High School
Champion Winner: Jordyn Ginestra for reciting“The Wish, By a Young Lady” by Laetitia Pilkington and “My Partner Wants Me to Write Them a Poem About Sheryl Crow” by Kayleb Rae Candrilli.
Freeburg High School
Runner-Up: Joshua Merz for reciting“Altered After Too Many Years Under the Mask” by C.A. Conrad and “Hunger for Something” by Chase Twichell.
Ginestra and Merz will advance to the Poetry Out Loud state competition in March 2021, along with two finalists from each of the other seven Illinois regional contests.
The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and SWIC.
To view all the poetry submission or for more information visit
swic.edu/poetry-out-loud or contact Amy Brockman at 618-235-2700, ext. 5324.