Elizabeth Landon, Wilmington Christian School. Photography by Kathleen Buckalew©
Elizabeth Landon, Wilmington Christian School Photography by Kathleen Buckalew©

Elizabeth Landon, a junior from Wilmington Christian School, won Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud state competition on March 13, 2012, held at the Smyrna Opera House. Landon’s recitations of “Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun,” by Emily Jane Brontë, “Golden Retrievals,” by Mark Doty and “On Virtue,” by Phillis Wheatley earned her high marks with the judges. She received the top scores from the judges for her ability to convey the meaning of her selected poems. The first runner up was Idalis Stamas from Polytech High School, and the second runner up was D’Ajah Grimes from Concord High School.

For her winning presentation, Elizabeth received $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, with a chaperone to compete for the national championship May 13-15, 2012. She performed notably at the national finals, receiving great compliments from many attendees. For more on the national finals, visit the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud page.

Ms. Landon’s school, Wilmington Christian School, received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Idalis Stamas, the first runner up received $100, and $200 went to Polytech High School for the purchase of poetry books.

Prestwick House, Inc., provided additional prizes of $100 to the winner, $50 to the first runner up, and gift bags for the twelve sponsoring teachers that included $50 for classroom supplies and English and poetry books. Walmart provided $25 gift cards for all twelve student finalists. At the National Finals, The Poetry Foundation will be awarding up to $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

The state Poetry Out Loud 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. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 2,600 Delaware students and over 80 teachers participated in the Poetry Out Loud program.


2012 Poetry Out Loud – Participating Students and High Schools


Delaware State Competition, Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., Smyrna Opera House, Smyrna, Delaware

 Cab Calloway School of the Arts

Concord High School

Dover High School

Lake Forest High School

Mt. Sophia Academy


Polytech High School

 Red Lion Christian Academy

Sanford School

St. Elizabeth High School

St. Marks High School

Tall Oaks Classical School

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