Northwest Horizons

Poetry Out Loud: an organization letting students speak out about their passions

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Poetry–some hate it, others can’t get enough of it.

This year, six students from Northwest competed in the school-wide level of a nation-wide poetry reciting contest competition, Poetry Out Loud. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has been around with the goals of helping students develop public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn more about literary history and contemporary life. For the three years Northwest has been participating in the competitions, English teacher Monica Clark has advised and coached the participants, and this year, she is the district chairperson for all Guilford County Schools students involved.

“Hearing these kids recite these poems is amazing, and that’s why [I started to promote the program at Northwest],” Clark said.

For the competition, it is required that students each choose two poems from those on Poetry Out Loud’s website and memorize them. After that, the students must go through the process of reciting, acting and repeating in order to create their final poetry performance. While they recite the poem, they are judged on things such as physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding.

“I was really nervous to perform at first,” sophomore Gabrielle Bueche said. “Everyone else in the first round was really good and it took me a while to fully understand and become a part of my poem.”

This year, two of Northwest’s students, sophomore Elonie Quick and senior Will Diggs, excelled in these categories, landing them in the next level of competition.

“I was confused [when they first announced the winners], I thought I had heard the judges wrong,” Quick said. “But then I saw Ms. Clark walking over to me and it finally set in that I had really won.”

Both Quick and Diggs will be competing in the district competition on Feb. 6.



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Poetry Out Loud: an organization letting students speak out about their passions