Neely Seams, a freshman at Marshall University, has been chosen to recite two poems at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, Saturday, Sept. 24. She will recite “Passing” by Toi Derricotte and “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg” by Richard Hugo at the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry and Prose Pavilion.
Seams, a native of Lewisburg, won the State Poetry Out Loud competition at the Culture Center in Charleston two years in a row as a junior and senior at Greenbrier East High School. Now studying theater as a freshman at Marshall University, Seams will make her college debut performance in “A Christmas Carol” in November. She is the daughter of Susan and Jerry Seams.
Poetry Out Loud is a national contest in which high school students memorize and recite poetry for an audience. The competition begins on a school-wide level, with the winners at each school advancing to the statewide competition held at the Culture Center in Charleston. The winners from each US state and territory then compete at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. each spring.
The Poetry Out Loud curriculum is designed to meet state and national standards in Language Arts and Reading. Participation helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. By studying, memorizing, and performing classic and contemporary poems, students become immersed in powerful expression and provocative ideas.