LANSING — Tajah-Rayne Davise from Calumet High School has been named the 2019 Poetry Out Loud State Champion for Michigan after completing three rounds of the annual recitation competition at the Lansing Crowne Plaza March 1-2.

Davise took top honors among 33 of her peers, reciting Love (III) by George Herbert in the final round. First runner-up is David DeBacker of Detroit Catholic Central High School, second runner-up is Grace Garver of Petoskey High School, and third runner-up is Soja Kureekkattil, of Rochester High School.

Now in its 14th year in the state, Michigan’s Poetry Out Loud program is coordinated by Michigan Humanities through a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

As champion for Michigan, Davise receives a $1,200 cash award, a $1,500 stipend for her school’s use in supporting poetry education, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Michigan at the national competition and compete for a $20,000 award. The finals will be livestreamed via April 30 and May 1.

Student and school prizes at the state level are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Liesel Litzenburger Meijer Fund. Support for Poetry Out Loud in Michigan is provided by the Michigan Humanities, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Poetry Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Meijer.

Poetry Out Loud School Champions included Taylor Estes of Owosso High School.

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