Chelsea Anokye-Agyei won the state title in Smyrna with finalists from Sanford, Ursuline, Wilmington Christian, Newark Charter, Mount Sophia, Red Lion Christian, Tall Oaks Classical, MOT Charter, Dover, Milford and Sussex Central high schools.

The winner of the 2019 Delaware Poetry Out Loud competition is a senior from Hodgson Vo-Tech in Newark.

From an initial field of 20 Delaware high school students and then 12 state finalists, Chelsea Anokye-Agyei won the title at the state competition at the Smyrna Opera House Feb. 26.

The first runner-up was Samuel McGarvey from Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, and the second runner-up was Sarah Stevenson from Milford High School.

Anokye-Agyei’s final recitation, “The Albatross” by Kate Bass, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website,

For her winning presentation, Anokye-Agyei will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a chaperone to compete at the national championship April 29 to May 1.

Hodgson Vo-Tech High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials.

McGarvey, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Tall Oaks Classical School will receive $200 for its school library.

The rest of the Delaware state finalists were:

Emma Elliott, Dover High School;

Nadia Sheikh, MOT Charter High School;

Daniel Patrick Johnson, Mount Sophia Academy;

Megan Chen, Newark Charter High School;

Ashton Driver, Red Lion Christian Academy;

Anne Rosenthal, Sanford School;

Brandon Greenlee, Sussex Central High School;

Catherine Enslen, Ursuline Academy;

Mariela Rivero, Wilmington Christian School.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

The Delaware Division of the Arts administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.