Bethlehem High School Student Becomes Finalist for National Poetry Contest


On Sunday, Bethlehem Central District High School (BCHS) junior Pamela White competed in the national finals of Poetry Out Loud. The contest was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and hosted by poet and author Kwame Alexander. 

White, of Delmar, New York, was named the 2022 New York state winner of the recitation competition at the finals event, which was live-streamed by Teachers & Writers Collaborative on March 12th. The runner-up was Lia Laurita, a senior from Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, New York. 

Both students were among the 16 state finalists who gave performances of classic and contemporary poetry. You can view the state final on their YouTube channel.

White then moved on to join finalists from all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories to compete in the 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals. 

The students competed for more than $50,000 in awards and stipends, including a $20,000 grand prize. 

Even though a student from California won the grand prize, White was still one of nine finalists and will be receiving an award of $1,000.  Andrew Rickert ran the Poetry Out Loud contest on the school level and confirmed that the school would receive $500 for poetry materials. 

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