Line by line, stanza by stanza

Contestants chose their poems from an online database through on .

On Thursday, January 26th, the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest was held in MHS’s Studio Theatre. Starting at 2:45pm, nine students spent their afternoon reciting poems from memory.

Various types of preparation techniques went into the memorization of their poems.

Sophomore Claire Leupe said, “I’ll look over a couple of lines and then would just keep going over it again and again and adding more lines until I’ve gone over the whole poem.”

Sophomore Paige Gibeault, a two-year competitor said, “I try to recite the poem from memory and then I would write it down to see how much I had remembered, I also highlighted my mistakes.”

The contestants were judged by five pieces of criteria. The criteria included physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Points are then deducted for inaccuracies in the recitation, as well if prompts are used.

“I like public speaking and performing and this is just another outlet to do it,” said Gibeault.

An audience of spectators watched as one by one the nine contestants all delivered their poems out loud. Senior Elizabeth Rose McMillan grabbed first place with the recitation of two poems “Personal” and “Enough”.

McMillan will now advance to the state level where, if she is successful, she will win an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. While there, she would participate in the National Finals for a chance to win a prize of $20,000.

Following in second place was Gibeault who performed “The Legend” and “The Larger” and in third place was Junior Valeria Marcu who recited “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVll” along with “In the Desert”.

“I like poetry, I heard about Poetry Out Loud and I had to try it out,” said first-year competitor Marcu.