Many students participated in a poetry competition known as “Poetry Out Loud” for their English classes over the past few days. For “Poetry Out Loud” the participants memorize a poem and recite it in front of judges in attempt to advance to the next round.
It was first established in 2006 and has been brought to Godwin by English teacher Stephen Wozny.
Judges do not score based on memorization, but how the competitor uses body language, portrays the poem, and expresses their understanding of it.
Three teachers made in-class auditions mandatory for their students, but other students auditioned by going to Wozny.
“Poetry Out Loud” functions similar to a spelling bee. It progresses from classroom, to school wide, to regional, to states, and finally to the national competition.
25 competitors were at the school wide competition. Junior Gus Beane won the school wide competition at Godwin with junior Nate McBarron was the runner-up. Beane will continue on to the regional competition along with five other Richmond area competitors on Feb 11.
If one of these students is to advance past the regional competition, they will participate in the state competition on March 13 in Richmond, at the Children’s Theatre of Virginia.
“Both Beane and McBarron could have easily been champions; the poems they chose matched their personality to perfection. There was almost no daylight between them,” said Wozny.
The winner of the entire event wins $20,000, and finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. for the national final.
“We have a lot of students participating and I would like to see one of them advance to the states,” said Wozny.