Jamestown High School recently held its 3rd Annual Poetry Out Loud Competition. Adriana Roehmholdt and Chiara Raimondo were named the first and second place winners. Adriana recited “Advice to a Prophet,” and Chiara presented “Happiness.” They will travel to Niagara Community College on February 5th to compete in the Western New York Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition.
Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between The National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and state arts agencies to encourage the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
JHS students participate in Poetry Out Loud as part of an exciting resurgence in poetry as an oral art form as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into JHS English classes.
“The quality of recitation was outstanding this year,” remarked JHS English Department Chairman, Barbi Price. “The students exhibited beautiful vocal variation, evidence of deep understanding, and confidence on stage in front of the judges and their peers. They breathed life into the poems. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to appreciate great poetry outside of the classroom and to polish their public speaking skills.”
Students are evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy during their poetry recitation. Eleven JHS students participated in the JHS Poetry Out Loud Competition: third place winner, Alex Simmons, Samantha Stafford, Sydney Deppas, Molly Morse, Adriana Roehmholdt, Kassandra Kum, Danielle Bertolini, Chiara Raimondo, Olivia Valone, Elizabeth Houser and Luci Ellis.
Winners of the Western New York Regional competition will travel to Albany for the state competition and, ultimately, to the National Finals at George Washington University in Washington DC, where the winner receives $25,000.00.