Poetry Out Loud performs
“Thanks man, I’m so happy,” said an enthusiastic poetry reading contest winner, Jake Reid, a junior at Douglas High School, as he shook drama teacher James Scoggins’ hand, Friday.
Jake had just finished reciting his two selections of poetry, “The Secret of Machines,” by Rudyard Kipling and “Rough Music,” by Deborah Digges, for the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation national recitation contest Poetry Out Loud.
His next step is to compete in the state finals on March 24 in Reno, coinciding with the Governor’s Arts Awards and the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Oasis Conference.
Jake said he worked about a month on “The Secret of Machines” and only chose his second selection about a week ago.
“I had a lot of enthusiasm,” he said of his performance, “I could feel that anyway ” and passion and expression.
“Doing Poetry Out Loud opened me up to a whole new world of poetry reading.”
The judges were Douglas County School District Superintendent Carol Lark, English teacher Dr. Phyllis Bateman and French teacher Ashley Luoma, as well as Scoggins, who was the accuracy judge. Thirteen students in grades 10 through 12 were judged on their physical presence and posture, voice projection and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding and overall performance.
“We can only send one,” said Scoggins to the other judges, following the recitations.
“Basically for each individual we add up all the scores for everything,” he said.
Second place went to Annalyse Klekar, and all the students received a certificate. Each one had recited two poems of their own choosing.
Sophomore Bailey Piper delivered her rendition of “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and “River of Bees” by W.S. Merwin.
“I was a little freaked out,” she admitted. “I love poetry. This was a fun thing to do. It’s nice to have a place to recite it.”
Annalyse had recited “Do Not!” by Stevie Smith and “Lover’s Infiniteness” by John Donne, with passion. All the students put lots of expression into their poetry. Other students who participated were sophomore Rachel Kiehne, senior Kaelie Hall, sophomore Samantha Cobb, junior Ashley Smith, junior Jacob Sanford, sophomore Chrissy Enengl, senior Desiree Davis, senior Mike Fuller, and juniors Artie Barkley and Sarah Pabon.
The top three students at the state finals will receive cash prizes: first place ” $1,000; second place ” $500; and third place ” $500. The schools of the top three students will receive cash prizes for literary supplies as follows: first place ” $2,000; second place ” $1,000; third place ” $1,000.
The winner of the state finals will go on to a national competition in Washington, D.C., in late April, with a chance to win a $20,000 scholarship.
Some rushing, some not
Some romantic, some hot!
All impressive, all artistic
Boys and girls voice rang out
with poetry old and new
So much preparation,
so much caring
Bringing them to life again –