Enloe High School Student Heads to Washington, D.C. for Poetry Out Loud Finals

by April 8, 2017

N.C. Poetry Out Loud Champion Iman Dancy from Enloe High School in Wake County.

Raleigh, N.C. — Iman Dancy from Enloe High School in Wake County is headed to the national Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 25.

Dancy, a 10th-grader, will join more than 50 high school students from across the country, who will gather to match their skills in reciting classic and contemporary poetry, in the 2017 National Poetry Out Loud finals.

Poetry Out Loud is an annual recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, and administered by the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Watch a video of the competition on the N.C. Arts Council’s YouTube channel.

Dancy impressed the judges in the North Carolina competition, held in early March, with her recitations of the poems: “Learning to Love America” by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim and “On Virtue” by Phillis Wheatley.

“I have learned the true power of poetry through competing in Poetry Out Loud,” Dancy noted after the statewide competition in Greensboro. “The impact that it can have on individuals, and the way that it can connect people, is seldom seen in other activities.”

Dancy is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities that include writing for the school newspaper, speech and debate, serving as secretary for the Enloe Fellowship of Christian Eagles, and president of the Enloe Beta Club.

“The way that the judges’ and audience’s eyes light up when I’m performing allows me to see just how important poetry truly is to its listeners,” Dancy added.

North Carolina’s first runner up was Yulisa Wilson-Randich from CATO Middle College in Mecklenburg County. She recited “Negative” by Kevin Young and “Bent to the Earth” by Blas Manuel De Luna.

“I have always enjoyed creative writing, although English is a second language for me and it was initially hard to learn,” she said. “Once I overcame the struggles of learning the language, language arts became one of my strongest subjects.” She has also joined the newly formed Poetry Club at her school.

The national competition takes place at Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University on Tuesday, April 25. Nine finalists will proceed to the finals on Wednesday, April 26 where they will vie for the title of National Poetry Out Loud Champion and a $20,000 award. The top finalists and their schools will receive $50,000 in awards. The semifinals and finals will be webcast live with viewing parties around the country.

Dancy will be among the 18 students who will compete from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 25. The NEA will offer a closed captioned, one-time-only webcast at www.arts.gov to view the competition on both days. The finals are from 7 to 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26.

FOLLOW: Poetry Out Loud is on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL17.

About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council launched its work in 1967 as part of a national movement inspired by the concept of “arts for all citizens.” For the last 50 years, the Arts Council has used the arts to leverage job creation, revitalize downtowns, increase arts-based tourism and help students achieve success both within and outside of the classroom. With almost 3,000 nonprofit arts organizations, including a network of local arts councils that reaches into all 100 counties of our state, the nonprofit arts industry generates $1.24 billion in direct economic activity for North Carolina. www.NCArts.org.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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