CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — No stranger to the performing arts, Morgan Sprouse took her talents to the Poetry Out Loud national competition on Monday.

Though last year Sprouse was in a very similar position, this is the first year Poetry Out Loud has hosted nationals in-person at Washington, D.C. since COVID-19 struck in 2020.

Sprouse performing at Poetry Out Loud WV’s contest.

Competitors from every state arrived in D.C. Monday evening, where a meet and greet and dinner was held for finalists and their guardians. Semi-finals began on Monday morning, where Sprouse was one of the first to perform being from ‘Region One’—the closest group to Washington, D.C. The top nine finalists from each region will be selected to continue into Wednesday, where final winners will be announced in the evening.

The three poems Morgan will be reciting for her performance include:

In just a few weeks, Sprouse will graduate from Bridgeport High School, where she connected with teachers Amy Lohmann and Jared St. Martin Brown, to whom she gives great thanks for supporting her through the competition and her schooling. Morgan plans to attend Ohio University where she will obtain a BFA in musical theatre.

Sprouse among finalists at national competition.

“I’ve always really loved poetry and literature, and I think it’s really important that kids get exposed to that kind of thing. And especially in a competition like this, you get to see so many points of views and there is so many people from so many different backgrounds and all of them are sharing poems that they felt related to their own experience, and I think that’s very important and special,” said Sprouse.

12 News wishes Morgan the best of luck in competing this week!