The Indiana State Library (ISL) and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Joshua Fisher earned the honor of being named the 2018 Poetry Out Loud Indiana state champion. Fisher will compete against representatives from all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, for the national Poetry Out Loud title on April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C. The event will be held at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. The semifinals and finals will be webcast live. The Midwest and South Central round, which includes Indiana, will be held on April 24, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m.

Fisher, a sophomore at Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw, qualified for the national finals by winning the Indiana state Poetry Out Loud championship held on Feb. 17, 2018 at the Indiana State Library. He edged out 17 other competitors to win the state title. In addition to the Washington, D.C. trip, Fisher earned a $200 cash prize and $500 for his school to be used to purchase poetry books.

Fisher recited three poems to qualify for the trip to Washington D.C.: “Entirely” by Louis MacNeice, “The Author of Her Book,” by Anne Bradstreet and “I Remember, I Remember” by Thomas Hood.

Runner-up Sophia Delgado of Herron High School in Indianapolis won the Poetry Ourselves competition in which students submitted their own written or spoken word poems. Last year’s Indiana Poetry Ourselves winner, Shelby Newland of Bloomington High School South, went on to place first in the Poetry Ourselves competition at the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Now celebrating its 13th year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. For more information, visit the Poetry Out Loud website.