Allan Monga is the 2018 Maine State Champion
The 2018 Maine State Poetry Out Loud Champion is Allan Monga, a junior at Deering High School in Portland. The state Runner-up is Lauren Dodge, a senior at Lee Academy. Both students received cash awards and their schools received prize money to purchase poetry books for their libraries.
After rising to the top in classroom, school wide and regional level competitions, 11 state finalists gathered at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville to recite three rounds of poetry from memory. All 11 contestants recited two poems before intermission, at which time the panel of four judges selected six finalists. In the final round, Alan Monga was ultimately selected as state champion and represented Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals in Washington, D.C., April 23-25, 2018.
Monga impressed a panel of judges to become the 2018 State Champion by reciting three poems during the competition: “The Song of the Smoke” by W. E. B. Du Bois, “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron (George Gordon), and “In the Desert” by Stephen Crane. Each of the 11 regional champions received Dawn Potter’s third collection of poetry, Same Old Story, thanks to CavanKerry Press Ltd.
Jennifer Rooks, public affairs host and producer at Maine Public was the master of ceremonies for the Maine State Finals at the Waterville Opera House. The event featured music from the Waterville Senior High School Jazz Band and a reading by poet Adrian Blevins, who is an Associate Professor of English at Colby College.
The Maine Arts Commission is very proud of all of the students who participated in the 2018 Maine Poetry Out Loud program and is grateful to the many who have made the program possible since its inception in 2006.Maine State ChampionAllan Monga, Grade 11, Deering High School
Maine State Runner-UpLauren Dodge, Grade 12, Lee Academy
State FinalistsLydia Caron, Grade 12, Bangor High School Richard Hilscher, Grade 12, North Yarmouth AcademyAbigail vanLuling, Grade 12, Gorham High SchoolEmma Lombardo, Grade 11, Westbrook High SchoolRegional FinalistsWyatt Bates, Grade 11, Yarmouth High SchoolLauren Farmer, Grade 10, Rangeley Lakes Regional Schools Katharine Kemper, Grade 10, Camden Hills Regional High SchoolHanna Lavenson, Grade 10, Messalonskee High SchoolNelson Peterson, Grade 12, Oak Hill High School
For more information about Poetry Out Loud, and for how your school can participate next year, visit this site or contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org. Videos of the Poetry Out Loud state and regional finals will be made available on the Maine Arts Commission Youtube and Facebook page: https://www.youtube.com/user/VirtualMaineArts.