High school poet’s lawsuit yields change in NEA competition

August 7, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The National Endowment for the Arts plans to eliminate a rule that keeps some people living in the United States out of a poetry competition.

The decision comes four months after Deering High School student Allan Monga sued to participate in the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C.

The NEA originally prohibited Monga from competing because he hadn’t been granted legal asylum. But the NEA told his lawyers in a letter dated July 31 that a requirement of citizenship or permanent residency is going to be eliminated.

Monga was one of 53 participants after the school district sued. He didn’t win but said that, “Just being here and experiencing this was like heaven.”

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