Words: Madhu Lal
Wednesday, Nov. 19 was the annual Poetry Out Loud competition, where select students within Centennial recited poetry in the hopes of winning and moving on to the state competition. This year, the participants of the event included Brendan Wilems, Sarah Elgendy, Ammal Yazdi, Montria Walker, Tahiyat Sheikh, Miguel Fernandez, Minnie Gregorini, Preeya Subedi, Tommy Hegarty and Elizabeth Heleba. Those ten finalists competed in the school’s auditorium in front of many english classes as well as Ms Hafets, Ms.Miller, Ms.Duran and Ms.Shipp, who judged their performances.
The country-wide competition, created by Poetry Out Loud and National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, was established in order to help people become more interested and involved in poetry. Each participant recited two poems from memory, one during the first round, and another in the second round. The judges scored the individuals based off of each student’s ability to recite the poem accurately. Participants were also evaluated on mood, voice, and appropriateness of the poem as well as the judge’s overall opinion of the performance.
After the performances, three students were selected as the school winners. In third place was Minnie Gregorini who performed Karen Gotshall’s “More Lies” and Philip Freneau’s “American Soldier.” Montrea Walker, second place, recited both Jimmy Santiago’s “I Am Offering This Poem” and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “ Break Break Break.” Finally, in first place, was Miguel Fernandez who recited a poem by Lee Hunt, “Jenny Kissed Me” and C.K. William’s “The Nail”.
The three winners will be moving on to the statewide level and then, if they are successful, the country wide competition.