Student Makes Walker’s History as Poetry Out Loud State Champion

Shermya Dover-John Poetry Out Loud

Shermya Dover-John ’21 has earned the title of Poetry Out Loud Connecticut State Champion following her virtual performance at the regional competition on February 26. While Walker’s has had several finalists at the state-level competition, Shermya is the first student to achieve this honor and will compete virtually at the national level in May.

“Watching and listening to Shermya recite these poems is mesmerizing,” says English Department Chair Megan Mulhern. “She has a wonderful ability to truly embody them. It’s also impressive to see her range. She is equally capable of bringing out the humor in an ironic poem as bringing forth the sorrow in a somber poem. We are so proud of her and excited for her to be able to participate at this level!”

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies (