Kaiya Thompson, a junior at Troy-Buchanan High School, was named the 2018 Northeast Missouri Poetry Out Loud Regional Champion at the regional finals held Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Hannibal Arts Council.

Kaiya Thompson, a junior at Troy-Buchanan High School, was named the 2018 Northeast Missouri Poetry Out Loud Regional Champion at the regional finals held Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Hannibal Arts Council.

Thompson recited “Dyed Carnations” by Robyn Schiff, “American Smooth” by Rita Dove and “Invitation to Love” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The runner-up was Lauren Frazier of Canton High School. Thompson will represent Northeast Missouri at the state finals Jefferson City on Thursday, March 8.

She will compete against the winners of eight other regional finals held throughout the state. The winner of the state final will continue on to the national finals held in Washington, D.C.

Each of the participants in the regional finals recited three poems for the judges. Judges scored each recitation on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy. Students participating were Kaiya Thompson, Troy-Buchanan High School; Claudia Nichols, Hannibal High School; Heidi Reinbeck, Palmyra High School; Wesley Peel, FCLC Learning Center and Lauren Frazier, Canton High School.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the school level, winners advance to a regional competition, then to a state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. The competition was presented by the Hannibal Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies.