Piqua Arts Council hosted their second Poetry Out Loud ,Thursday, February 11th at Edison State College. Executive Director Jordan Knepper said, “I was very impressed with memory and performance of the participants. They each kept the audience enthralled.”
The contestants were judged on reciting 2 poems from memory. Daniel Nauseeef, from Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton started the competition with “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser. Hibachi Loukssi, from Xenia High School, recited “I Am Offering This Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Lexi Gastelu, from Piqua High School, went third with "A January Dandelion" by George Marion McClellan and the first round closed out with Abigail Lay from Springfield Clark CTC presenting "To be of use" by Marge Piercy.
Before an intermission, Bridget Flaherty presented a story for the audience. Following the intermission, Steven Gregory got the audience energized by playing three songs.
After Steven Gregory’s performance, round two of the competition kicked off with students participating in the same order as before. Daniel Nauseef led off with "Football" by Louis Jenkins. Following that was Hiba Loukssi with "The Ocean" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Lexi Gastelu performed "Fateby" Carolyn Wells and the second round closed out with Abigail Lay performing "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" by Kevin Young.
The judges all had outstanding credentials. Leroy Bean is an author, poet, and co-founder of Underdog Academy and Baldwin Cafe Bookstore in Dayton, OH. For 4 years, he has taught an original creative writing workshop suitable for elementary to adult students for the purpose of healing, emotional intelligence, development of one’s writing process and exercise for the creative muscle.
Bridget Flaherty is an award-winning storyteller and founder of LORE, where she teaches the art of storytelling to businesses who want to authentically connect with their clients and employees and individuals who want to use their voice and share their story. Bridget has coached business leaders, politicians, keynote speakers, students and individuals from all walks of life to craft a better story. She also provides one-on-one life coaching for people who are stuck with big problems or big ideas to get unstuck and begin actively writing new chapters of their lives.
Steven Gregory is a musician from Dayton, OH. He is also a social worker and adjunct professor of sociology. He performs regularly with sax player Cody Curtis. Steven has a BA in Psychology from Wilmington College, an MA in Applied Behavioral Science from Wright State and is currently working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health at Wright State. Steven has been performing for over 15 years and has even spent 11 days on tour in England.
Nate Funderburg is a lifelong resident of Piqua, OH. After graduating Piqua High School, Nate graduated cum laude from Wright State University with a degree in English. He attended law school at the University of Dayton School of Law and graduated magna cum laude in 2006 after serving on the law review. Nate was admitted to the Ohio bar in November 2006, and the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in December of the same year. Nate spent tow years working for a local law firm before joining McCulloch, Felger, Fite and Gutmann in October of 2008.
The judges chose Lexi Gastelu from Piqua, OH as the winner of the 2021 Poetry Out Loud West Central Regional Final. She will go on to the state final on March 5, which will be held virtually. Replays of the competition will be posted on the Piqua Arts Council’s YouTube station and shared on the Piqua Arts Council’s Facebook page.
The night ended with a presentation of gift bags filled with goodies for the students by sponsors, Winans Chocolates and Coffee, Scott’s Family McDonalds, Jay & Mary’s Bookstore, Staples, Elite Etc. and Premier Health – Upper Valley Medical Center.
Poetry Out Loud
West Central Regional Final
Edison State Community College
1973 Edison Way
Piqua, OH 45356
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Piqua Arts Council