Greerbrier East student to represent W.Va. at Poetry Out Loud Contest in Washington, D.C

         CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Greenbrier East High School student Brett Napier will represent West Virginia at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in Washington, D.C. on April 30 – May 1. Napier won the state competition hosted by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts on Saturday, March 2, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Tia Walkup of Greenbrier West High School was the runner-up.

            Napier recited Candles by Carl Dennis, My Brother the Artist, at Seven by Philip Levine and The Glories of Our Blood and State by James Shirley.

            Walkup’s poems included Quite Frankly by Mark Halliday, Very Large Moth by Craig Arnold and A Song: Lying is an occupation by Laetitia Pilkington.

            Forty-five students from high schools in 29 counties competed in the semifinals on Friday, March 1, 2019, with the top 10 contestants competing Saturday in the state final. A complete list of semifinalists and their schools is included below. Top 10 finalists and Top 5 finalists also are noted.

            Napier received $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national finals. Greenbrier East High School received a $500 stipend to buy poetry books and materials. His teacher is Kallie Cochran.

            As the runner-up, Walkup received $100 and $200 for her school to purchase poetry books and materials. Her teacher is Jaye-Andrea Arp.

            Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry Magazine, the oldest English-language monthly publication dedicated to verse. The program is designed to encourage high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

            Beginning at the classroom level, 4,167 students and 113 teachers at 51 West Virginia high schools participated in the Poetry Out Loud program this year.

            For more information about Poetry Out Loud and the state semifinal and final competition, contact Jim Wolfe, Poetry Out Loud state coordinator, at (304) 558-0240 or

Kayley Brinegar – Berkeley Springs High School

Katie Pearson – Buckhannon-Upshur High School

Natalie Eastone – Cabell Midland High School

Virginia Groce – Capital High School

Emily Yates – East Hardy High School

Maggie McAllister – Fayetteville High School

Ashlyn Bell – George Washington High School

Brett Napier – Greenbrier East High School (State Champion)

Tia Walkup – Greenbrier West High School (Runner-Up)

Sara Money – Hampshire High School

Victoria Bannon – Huntington High School

Melia Beckford – Hurricane High School (Top 5)

Brianna Watson – Lewis County High School

Devesh Shah – The Linsly School (Top 10)

Brooke Ooten – Logan High School

Ryan Horn – Magnolia High School (Top 5)

Emily Cales – Meadow Bridge High School

Julie Bowen – Moorefield High School

Indiah Bleher – Morgantown High School

Galilea Villaseńor – Nicholas County High School

Darcy Witt – Nitro High School

Ben Long – Notre Dame High School (Top 10)

Allyson Brothers – Oak Glen High School (Top 5)

Fiona Legg – Oak Hill High School

Serenity Strother – Paden City High School

Emma Smith – Parkersburg High School

Billy Bowers – Paw Paw High School

Zoë Payne – Philip Barbour High School

Kayli Mann – Pikeview High School (Top 10)

Renee Varnell – Ripley High School

Suraya Boggs – Roane County High School (Top 10)

Natalie Adams – Shady Spring High School

Kayden Upton – South Charleston High School

Kayla McGary – South Harrison High School

Makenzie Hite – Spring Mills High School

Mattelyn Lamp – St. Marys High School

Katelyn Stillwagoner – Tyler Consolidated High School

Emily Pingley – Valley High School

Seth Vandevender – Webster County High School

Emily Budik – Weir High School

Alexis Cunningham – Westside High School

Kelly Williams – Wheeling Park High School (Top 10)

Mikaela Baccay – Wirt County High School

Dylan Cain – Woodrow Wilson High School

Kalli Stewart – Wyoming East High School

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