Poetry contest

Senior Lancaster Country Day School pupil wins regional poetry competition | Life & Culture

Lily Nguyen, a senior at Lancaster Country Day School, has been named the winner of the 2021 Poetry Out Loud competition, Millersville University’s South Central PARTners announced in a press release last week. The regional competition is part of a national program to foster students’ appreciation for poetry through memory and performance.

“Winning this contest was honestly a huge surprise to me,” Nguyen wrote in an email. “Helping me strengthen my love and skills for poetry recitation, (Poetry Out Loud) has been a tremendously rewarding experience that I believe every student should participate in.”

For the regional competition, Nguyen and five other students from Lancaster, Berks and Schuylkill counties were tasked with memorizing and reciting selected poems from online and print anthologies Poetry Out Loud. Due to COVID-19, recitations have been recorded and submitted digitally. The student videos were judged by a panel of poets and creators, including Meg Day, Lenwood Sloan, Anthony Orozco, David Nazario, Daina Savage and Barry Kornhauser.

“I marvel at the talent of the contestants as they explore the levels of meaning in their chosen poems and then strive to bring those words to life in their recitations,” said Daina Savage, communications director strategic at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, and one of this year’s judges, wrote in an email. “This year’s winner inhabited the poems she chose with a natural ease and grace that felt like she had written the words herself.”

Nguyen’s rendition of Ted Kooser’s “Abandoned Farmhouse”, Phillis Levin’s “An Anthology of Rain” and Henry David Thoreau’s “Tall Ambrosia” earned him top prize.

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With her victory, Nguyen moves on to the national round of the contest. The winner will be announced on March 8, 2021.

The winning state contest will advance to the national semi-finals on May 2. The 2021 Poetry Out Loud National Finals will take place on May 27. Both rounds of competitions based on video submission will be streamed on arts.gov. $50,000 in school prizes and stipends will be distributed, according to a press release from the organization.