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Poetry‌ ‌Out‌ ‌Loud‌ ‌inspires‌ ‌students‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌their‌ ‌voice‌

By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – At the annual Poetry Out Loud school wide competition, three IHS students had the opportunity to engage their love of poetry through recitation.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition that is organized and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  The district competition is organized at IUP by Jeff Wacker of the Arts Path program.

Senior Grace Wadding won the school-wide competition and advanced to the regional competition held on February 3 at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 

During the week of January 14, students competed in preliminary rounds. Each reciter was evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. 

Students were assessed by English teachers Julie Steve, Erin King, Sarah Bond, Michael Farina, and Larry Nath. 

Senior Haley Hibsman, freshman Gabriel Kenning, and Wadding were able to win the classroom rounds and competed at the school wide competition. Hibsman advanced with her reading of “Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday” by Robert Hayden, Kenning with “Writing” by Howard Nemerod, and Wadding with “Respiration” by Jamaal May. 

IHS Poetry Out Loud coordinator Nath said, “Poetry seems to be disappearing for many high school students, and Poetry Out Loud allows students to connect with poetry on a deeper, personal level.” 

The competition provided a creative outlet for the members of the competition. Junior participant Silas Schiera stated, “I’ve always been interested in public speaking and because there’s no forensics public speaking teams at the high school anymore, this was the closest thing I could get to that. My favorite part was competing with my classmates in the competition.” 

Poetry is a small part of the overall English curriculum. One of Poetry Out Loud’s goals is to introduce an appreciation for poetry into the high school curriculum. Junior Alexis Single expressed, “I have noticed as the years have gone by, poetry has been in the curriculum less and less. We haven’t really done any poetry this year, and I wish we did because I enjoy it. It seems like the Poetry Out Loud is a good opportunity for those that like poetry. I am excited to see if any winners come from our school.” 

Poetry Out Loud provides students the ability to spend time memorizing and appreciating poetry. Wadding stated, “I love theater and I’ve always been passionate about poetry. I figured Poetry Out Loud would be a great way to combine the two.”  

[Photo by Jeff Wacker]

Photo Caption: “IHS English teacher and Poetry Out Loud coordinator Larry Nath accompanied school-wide competition winner senior Grace Wadding to the District Competition at IUP this past Monday, February 3.” 

Adriana Guth-Borowski

Adriana is a junior and has been on the High Arrow staff for three years. Her goal is to bring accurate news and other stories to the readers of the High Arrow.

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