CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Bridgeport High School junior Morgan Sprouse represented West Virginia in the Poetry Out Loud national semi-finals earlier this month, finished in the Top 12 and earned an honorable mention prize.

Sprouse was one of 55 state and jurisdictional Poetry Out Loud champions participating in the annual competition. As the 4th place winner in one of three regional semifinals, Sprouse will receive a $1,000 cash award and a $500 stipend for her school.

Sprouse won the West Virginia Poetry Out Loud championship in March, with her recitations of “Mansplaining” by Jennifer Militello, “Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin and “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. She was one of 40 West Virginia high school students who competed in the state finals at the Culture Center in Charleston. 

For this competition, each student memorizes and recites classic and contemporary poems. Judges score the recitations based on criteria including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy.

The 2022 competition will culminate on Sunday, June 5, where students from across the country will compete for the title of Poetry Out Loud National Champion and a $20,000 prize.

Even though Morgan did not advance to the finals, she represented her state and Bridgeport well.