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Luzerne County Student Named 2024 'Poetry Out Loud' State Champion


Harrisburg – Today, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) announced that Sulette Lange, a junior at Hazleton Area Arts and Humanities Academy in Luzerne County, is Pennsylvania's 2024 Poetry Out Loud (POL) state champion. Lange will represent Pennsylvania in the National Finals, which will be held in Washington, D.C., beginning April 30, 2024.

"Poetry Out Loud supports our Commonwealth's students' mastery of critical skills for success in school and the workplace," said Karl Blischke, PCA Executive Director. "On behalf of the Council and staff of the PCA, we congratulate our 14 state competitors for their hard work and accomplishments and extend best wishes to Sulette Lange as she goes on to compete at the national championship."

As the POL state champion, Lange will receive $200 from the Poetry Foundation and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national championship. In addition, Lange's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school/organizational stipends is awarded annually.

Runner-up in the state finals went to Evan Wang, a junior at Upper Merion High School in Montgomery County. As runner-up, Wang will receive $100, and Wang's school will receive $200.

The 14 state POL competitors were among more than 3,000 high school students who participated in this year's competition, with the help and support of teachers/coaches in 73 schools and community organizations across Pennsylvania.

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The contest is facilitated through the PCA, working with regional partner organizations.

Each student memorized and prepared three poems selected from print and online poetry anthologies. All 14 students performed in the first two rounds of competition, with the top five competing in the third and final round. Students were judged on voice and articulation, physical presence, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy.

The complete list of all 14 students who competed in the 2024 POL state competition includes:

  • MacKenzie Bailey, Logos Academy, York County
  • Normandy Broaddus, Williamsport Area High School, Lycoming County
  • Marlo Cyanovich, Montour Center for Arts & Media, Allegheny County
  • Ty Irwin Elensky, Curwensville Area High School, Clearfield County
  • Shaurya Gulati, the Kiski School, Westmoreland County
  • Genelia Kang, Sikh Cultural Society of Erie, Erie County
  • Christabelle Kirkham, Carlisle High School, Cumberland County
  • Jordan Knouse, Newport High School, Perry County
  • Sulette Lange, Hazleton Area Arts & Humanities Academy, Luzerne County
  • Nastasia Philip, Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster County
  • Morgyn Thomas, Somerset Area Senior High School, Somerset County
  • Anin Mae Truchan, Ridgway High School, Elk County
  • Evan Wang, Upper Merion High School, Montgomery County
  • Madeline Wentz, Palmerton Area High School, Carbon County

The PCA is a state agency that supports jobs, builds communities, inspires lifelong learning, promotes the Commonwealth, and sparks innovation through its portfolio of funding opportunities. The PCA reaches all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through its investments in arts and cultural production, creative placemaking, accessibility, capacity building, arts in education, and the growth and sustainability of creative small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about the PCA, visit

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