pol patrick monaghanNext Up: POL National Finals in Washington, DC

PHOTO:  Patrick Monaghan, Red Bank Regional High School (Little Silver) named State Runner-Up
See his recitation on Youtube

Celeste Sena, a senior from Jersey City, was named State Champion at the 2016 New Jersey Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Finals competition, part of the national poetry recitation program. The state finals took place Thursday at The College of New Jersey. Ms. Sena will now move on to represent New Jersey at the national finals in Washington, DC to compete against champions from every state and territory, all vying for the national title and the chance to win prizes including college scholarships.

POL is a national poetry recitation program through which students learn to perform great works of classical and contemporary poetry. The State Finals is the culmination of a statewide contest that began in the fall and included over 27,000 New Jersey students from 160 high schools and one homeschool association. Students competed first at the classroom and school level, and then at the regional level to determine the 12 finalists who would move on to Thursday's competition.

Along with Ms. Sena, Patrick Monaghan, a senior from Little Silver, earned the title of State Runner-Up. Following is a list of the 12 student finalists:

Celeste Sena, Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School (Jersey City)
Patrick Monaghan, Red Bank Regional High School (Little Silver)
Amos Koffa, Burlington County Institute of Technology (Medford)
Elaina Francisco, Cobblestone Home School Association (Mt. Laurel)
Gianna Robinson, Mainland Regional High School (Linwood)
Kathryn Slusarczyk, Vineland High School
Nicole Jenkins, Piscataway High School
Brianna Vigorito, Morris County School of Technology (Denville)
Megan Pan, The Pingry School (Basking Ridge)
Beatrice Dimaculangan, Jonathan Dayton High School (Springfield)
Sabyne Pierre, Essex County Vocational North 13th Street High School (Newark)
Claire Choi, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan   
Now in its 11th year, POL was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is carried out in partnership with the State Arts Agencies around the country. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts runs the year-long NJPOL in partnership with Playwrights Theatre of NJ, in collaboration with Discover Jersey Arts (an initiative of the Council and the ArtPride NJ Foundation). The program is administered with a host of regional partners including the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Mayo Performing Arts Center, South Orange Performing Arts Center, Two River Theater, Levoy Theatre and CavanKerry Press.