AVA BERINGER FROM MASCONOMET REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL NAMED 2022 POETRY OUT LOUD MASSACHUSETTS STATE CHAMPION
(BOSTON) – Masconomet Regional High School junior Ava Beringer was named the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Champion on Sunday, March 13, 2022.
In a virtual contest, Beringer bested 8 other finalists to earn the top honor. Placing second was Lauren Lima, a junior from Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, followed by Irianny Solorin, the who is a senior at Methuen High School.
Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation contest for high school students that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage. The Huntington’s Education Department has facilitated the Massachusetts chapter of this national recitation contest in partnership with the Mass Cultural Council since its inception 17 years ago and has ranked nationally in participation statistics for eleven years in a row. The program is facilitated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. POL is in all 50 states, DC, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.
In a typical year, after high schools hold their own contests, the Huntington hosts 5 regional semi-final contests in Boston, Cape Cod, Hopkinton, Newburyport, and Springfield, and then a state final at the Old Meeting House in Boston, but the contest was entirely virtual this year due to the ongoing pandemic. For the second year, any cultural organization was invited to participate and run their own POL program, and individual students were able to participate if their school was not going to register. POL Massachusetts welcomed a program at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Rollicking Productions LLC, and nine students in our Individual Cohort. A full list of this year’s participating schools is below.
“Poetry Out Loud is an inspiring program,” says Michael J. Bobbitt, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “It provides a remarkable opportunity for the young people in our Commonwealth to express their talents and creativity, while celebrating the power and diversity of the spoken word. This year’s contest was unlike any other, and we thank our partner the Huntington Theatre Company for navigating the logistics and bringing Poetry Out Loud into the lives of so many young people.”
“Poetry Out Loud was especially moving this year,” says Meg O’Brien, Huntington’s Director of Education, “in the ways our contestants worked with their respective teachers and POL Coordinators to digitally record their recitations, submit those recitations to us earlier than ever before, and make the most of this year’s virtual program. I congratulate all the students who participated this year and am deeply proud of the entire Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts community of contestants, teachers, coordinators, families, adjudicators, and staff.”
14,391 students, 339 teachers/staff, 47 schools, and 2 cultural organizations participated in Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts in 2022 (full list of schools is below). The 9 finalists were the top scoring contestants from 3 regional semi-final contests shared virtually on March 12. The digital program is available at huntingtontheatre.org/pol.
As 2022 Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Champion, Ava Beringer will now compete for the National Championship. The Nationals will also be virtual with Regional Semi-Finals shared digitally on May 1 and the National Finals shared on June 5, 2022. All national level events will be streamed at the National Endowment for the Arts website arts.gov.
2022 POETRY OUT LOUD MASSACHUSETTS STATE FINALISTS
1. Rim Badaoui, Mystic Valley Regional High School
2. Ava Beringer, Masconomet Regional High School
3. Isabella Gill, Burlington High School
4. Isabelle Gondella, Rollicking Productions LLC and a student at Georgetown High School
5. Melanie Howard, Sandwich High School/STEM Academy
6. Jessica Li, Malden High School
7. Lauren Lima, Dartmouth High School
8. Eleanor Sears, Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School
9. Irianny Solorin, Methuen High School
The adjudicators for the Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Finals included Porsha Olayiwola, Boston’s Poet Laureate, actor and educator Dylan C. Wack, poet and educator Heather Hughes, and Cookie Gamble, multi-hyphenate artist and teen director for YMCA Greater Boston, and Danielle Jones, Program Manager at Mass Poetry, as accuracy judge.
2022 POETRY OUT LOUD MASSACHUSETTS PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS & Cultural Organizations
Agawam Senior High School, Agawam
Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough
Avon Middle High School, Avon
Barnstable High School, Barnstable
Boston Latin School, Boston
Brockton High School, Brockton
Burlington High School, Burlington
CATS Academy Boston, Braintree
Codman Academy Charter Public School, Dorchester
Commonwealth School, Boston
Dartmouth High School, Dartmouth
Dennis Yarmouth High School, South Yarmouth
Dexter Southfield School, Brookline
Dracut High School, Dracut
Foxborough Regional Charter School, Foxborough
Framingham High School, Framingham
Groton Dunstable Regional High School, Groton
Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Hopkinton
Hull High School, Hull
Huntington Therapeutic Day School, Brockton
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Roxbury
Leominster High School, Leominster
Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow
Malden High School, Malden
Masconomet Regional High School, Boxford
Melrose High School, Melrose
Meridian Academy, Jamaica Plain
Methuen High School, Methuen
Milton Academy, Milton
Montrose School, Medfield
Mt. Everett Regional High School, Sheffield
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Malden
Nantucket High School, Nantucket
Newburyport High School, Newburyport
Norwell High School, Norwell
Pelham Academy, Lexington
Plymouth North High School, Plymouth
Plymouth South High School, Plymouth
Rockland High School, Rockland
Rollicking Productions, LLC, Rye NH
Salem Academy Charter School, Salem
Salem High School, Salem
Sandwich High School/STEM Academy, Sandwich
South Hadley High School, South Hadley
South Shore Charter Public School, Norwell
St. Sebastian’s School, Needham
Sutton Memorial High School, Sutton
Whitman Hanson Regional High School, Whitman
Worcester Technical High School, Worceste
ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD
Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation contest run by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. Since its inception, POL has inspired more than 4 million high school students from more than 16,000 schools across the country to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry. The NEA and Poetry Foundation partner with state arts agencies in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam to support POL. Poetry Out Loud is a free program, and all contests are free and open to the public.
Learn more about Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts at huntingtontheatre.org/pol.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Celebrating its 40th season, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Maso and Artistic Director Loretta Greco, The Huntington is currently conducting a transformational renovation of the historic Huntington Theatre, a storied venue with a bold vision for the future. The project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
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