ArtsPath To Host Poetry Out Loud Competition

Posted on 1/24/2018 2:52:03 PM

Poetry Out Loud 2015 winner reciting her poemArtsPath, the arts-in-education program of the College of Fine Arts and the Lively Arts at IUP, will host one of 14 regional Poetry Out Loud competitions held in Pennsylvania that will determine who will represent each region at the state POL competition in March 2018 in Harrisburg. 

The ArtsPath regional competition takes place at 6:30 p.m. this coming Monday, January 29, in the upper lobby of the IUP Performing Arts Center. The public is invited, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be served following the recitations when the winner will be announced.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, this national recitation competition begins at the classroom level and pyramids through school, regional, and state levels, ending with a national-level competition of state champions that is held in Washington, D.C. It encourages high school-age students to learn about significant works of poetry through memorization and adjudicated performance.

2013 Poetry Out Loud contestantsThe champions representing their schools in the ArtsPath region this year are Edgard Mercado from the Kiski School; Rachel Wilkins, Marion Center Area High School; Amy Kukula, Blairsville High School; Jacquelyn Spicher, DuBois Area High School; Emily Marshall, Homer-Center High School; and Dylan McAnulty, Indiana Area High School.

Each will recite from memory three poems that satisfy the criteria of one being pre-20th century and one being 25 lines or less. Their recitations this year include poems by Tony Hoagland, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Albert Guest, Jeffery Skinner, Emily Dickinson, Charles Lamb, Suju Kwock Kim, and Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, as well as several others.

Judges for this year’s competition are:

  • Mary Reading (Accuracy) is currently a PhD candidate of Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned degrees in Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and Mercy College. A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, she teaches college writing at Harrisburg Area Community College and Westmoreland County Community College. Her interests include film studies, gender studies, and multi-ethnic and global literature.
  • Karen Salser (Interpretation) is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and is executive director of the Indiana Arts Council. She holds a BS in Music Education and has many years of experience teaching in public and private schools, managing a private studio, and performing at various venues. Her current position affords her the opportunity to promote and support all of the arts throughout Indiana County by combining her passion for them with her educational experience. A regular consumer of poetry, she is continually intrigued by how composers integrate and interpret poetry in vocal compositions.
  • Michael Schwartz (Interpretation) is an associate professor of theater history, playwriting, and improvisation in the Theater and Dance Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has written two books on theater history: Broadway and Corporate Capitalism: The Rise of the Professional Managerial Class 1900–1920; and Class Divisions on the Broadway Stage: The Staging and Taming of the I.W.W. His play A Punchline was featured in a reading last year as part of the William Inge Theater Festival’s Playlab.
  • Helen Taylor (Interpretation) holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities/Secondary English Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Library Science degree from Clarion University. She taught English language arts and directed musicals in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and she has been employed at the Indiana Free Library for the past 10 years, most recently as the instruction/outreach librarian. She is also an amateur writer who has had several short stories published in various anthologies.
  • Daniel Weinstein (Interpretation) is an associate professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching, which take place at the intersection of educational technology and the psychology of creativity, focus on how new technologies may be used to help students prosper as learners and creators. A pioneer in the use of computers for teaching writing remotely, in 1996 he designed and taught the first online English Composition course ever offered at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. Since that time he has continued to innovate teaching techniques that harness the potential of digital technologies to support students’ creative growth.
  • Michael T. Williamson (Interpretation) earned a PhD in 1996 from Rutgers University. He is director of the MA in Literature and MA and Composition and Literature programs at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches poetry and British literature, as well as Global Literature, in the graduate program in Literature and Criticism in the Cook Honors College. He has published essays on nineteenth-century British women poets, early twentieth-century Yiddish poetry, and the comic writing of P.G. Wodehouse. He is editor of Pennsylvania English, a multidisciplinary literary journal.
  • Zainab Younus (Prompter) is currently a PhD candidate in the Literature and Criticism program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan and has been involved in the teaching profession for the last decade. She is also an officer with the English Graduate Organization and Popular Culture Methodologies.

The evening will also feature piano music by Hayden Kramer, a sophomore music education major from Huntingdon, Pa.

For more information, please contact Liz Upson Perez at, or Jeff Wacker at, or call the Lively Arts at 724-357-2787 (ARTS).

ArtsPath has been providing arts-in-education services since 2001 to over 3,000 students annually in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the Governor’s Office. Its mission is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania  and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.