Poetry Out-Loud Recap


Before April vacation, students at Pentucket were assigned the daunting task of choosing and memorizing a poem from the Poetry Out-Loud website and reciting it in front of their peers.  This announcement received mixed reactions from the student body, as it forced students to go outside of their comfort zone.


There were three stages to the process. The first was an in-class performance of each student’s poem where teachers chose the best recitations(s) to move on to the next round. Students were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on the performers in their class, but, in the end, the teachers made the ultimate decision.


The next round was a period wide performance, which took place the next day. Students competed against winners from each English class during their class period. Approximately two students were chosen from each period to move on to the final round.


The school-wide finals took place on Friday, April 29. Nineteen talented students competed to receive the first place prize of $50. Although Pentucket was too late to officially enter the national Poetry Out Loud competition, it hopes to have the chance to compete for state and even national titles next year.


Sophomore Melanie Adams, one of the nineteen finalists, said, “I was really excited for the event because it was a great opportunity for students to share poetry in a way that was more powerful than reading it on paper.”


Melanie recited the poem Caged Bird by Maya Angelou and stated that the hardest part of the Poetry Out-Loud process was “choosing a poem that was both meaningful and still relatively easy to memorize.”


In contrast, Liza Russell, a sophomore, said that she dreaded reciting her poem and can’t even remember her experience in front of the class because she was so nervous.


Savana Silva, another finalist in the competition, said, “At first, I didn’t think that I would enjoy performing but found that as the competition went on, I felt more and more comfortable.”


Lindsey Fevry, winner of the school-wide competition, said, “I had absolutely no idea I was going to win, especially with so many other great performances, and I was really excited when I won.” Lindsey was impressed in particular by Annika Ellis’ recitation of  What Guys Look for in Girls and Kali Boston’s of If I Should Have a Daughter.


Fevry recited the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, and impressed judges with not only her accuracy, but the feeling and passion with which she read. Not only did Lindsey win $50, but she is also exempt from taking the upcoming unit test for poetry!


Overall, there were many great performances, and Pentucket eagerly awaits next year’s Poetry Out Loud competition.