Poetry Out Loud

One microphone amplified the poems of twenty-nine individual voices during CJ’s 8th annual Poetry Out Loud Competition on January 29.

To get to the school-wide competition, students initially prepare poems selected from the Poetry Out Loud website and compete within their English classes. Winners of classroom competitions are then invited to compete in the school wide competition. There, each student recites one poem. Based on scoring, six students are asked to recite a second poem.

“Although they may not be athletes or musicians or actors, these students also get a chance to perform on a stage, whether that is in a classroom or in the school auditorium,” Jim Brooks, English teacher and coordinator of the school-wide POL competition, said. “That makes it all worthwhile.”

The winning score is determined from a formula taking accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, and overall performance into account.

“POL gives our students a deep experience of the genre of writing and reading that we call poetry,” Brooks said. “They take ownership of two works by different authors, and they share in the experience of other students doing the same thing.”

Emily Meyer, with her poems “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg” by Richard Hugo and “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams took first. Emily will be traveling to Columbus on March 7th to compete in the state-wide competition. Alexis Jackson took second, Jillian Hammerly took third, and Teresa Wong took 4th.