Morgan Love, a senior Literary Arts student from Jackson, has secured the top spot in Mississippi’s Poetry Out Loud state competition. This marks the second year in a row that Morgan has received first place (2020 champion).

Morgan Love is Mississippi’s 2021 State Champion and will compete nationally.

Recitations for the regional level were held via Zoom. Adjudicators then reviewed the recorded session, grading facial expressions, mouth movement and dictation of each piece. 

Winners from the regional level throughout Mississippi then met in Jackson at Mississippi Public Broadcasting for the state competition, where more recitations were performed and recorded. Contestants were notified days later through a virtual announcement and awards ceremony. Receiving 2nd place was Belle Grace Wilkinson of Jackson Prep Academy. Receiving 3rd place was Emma Teng of Oxford High School.

Poetry Out Loud is a free program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation for students in grades 9 – 12. Since 2005, it has helped students in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and improve their reading comprehension scores while learning about their literary heritage.

Through the Poetry Out Loud curriculum, teachers guide students to a deeper, richer understanding of the power of language and literature by helping them develop a personal relationship with great poems. An added benefit is that Poetry Out Loud offers all students the opportunity to compete for awards, prizes, and recognition.

In addition to POL State Champion, Morgan also received awards in Mississippi’s Regional Scholastic Writing Competition, winning 1 Silver Key for Senior Portfolio, 1 Gold Key, 4 Silver Keys, and 3 Honorable Mentions.

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