On Wednesday, January 24 at 1:00 pm sixteen Wabasha-Kellogg Sophomores and Freshmen competed in the school-wide Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest. The top two performers in the contest were Charles Cushman and Elsie Jarvar. They will move on to the POL Semi-Finals in Minneapolis on March 7th.
All Freshmen in Cris Medina's English 9 class and all Sophomores in Nicole Borg's English 10 class competed in the class competition, reciting two poems from memory, using strong speaking skills to convey the meaning of their poems. They were judged on Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Evidence of Understanding, Overall Performance, and Accuracy for a maximum score of 41 points. The top performers from each grade moved on to the school-wide competition.
Sophomores who moved on to the school-wide competition were Anna Cichosz ("The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost and "Hope is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson), Maia Fries ("Discrimination" by Kenneth Rexroth and "Keeping Things Whole" by Mark Strand), Caitlyn Gusa ("To Helen" by Edgar Allan Poe and "The Snowman" by Wallace Stevens), Elsie Jarvar ("Toy Boat" by Ocean Vuong and "Pome" by Elizabeth Spires), Makinsie Rollinger ("I Am Learning to Abandon the World" by Linda Pastan and "After a Rainstorm" by Robert Wrigley), Megan Springer ("Entirely" by Louis MacNeice and "Silence" by Thomas Hood), as well as W-K Senior and foreign exchange student Anahit Hakobyan ("April Love" by Ernest Dowson and "Love Lives Beyond the Tomb" by John Clare).
Freshman competitors included Aidan Baxter ("Night on the Mountain" by George Sterling and "A ballad of baseball burdens" by Franklin Pierce Adams), Charles Cushman ("Revenge" by Letitia Elizabeth Landon), Gwendolyn Gray-Burlingame ("When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats and "The Vacuum" by Howard Nemerov), Cayden Hester ("Eating Poetry" by Mark Strand and "Flanders Field" by John McRae), Max Killeen ("The Poet" by Yone Noguchi and "War Widow" by Chris Abani), William Sailer ("Abandoned Farmhouse" by Ted Kooser and "After the War" by Rachel Galvin), Joe Stumpf ("300 Goats" by Naomi Shihab Nye and "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky" by Lewis Carroll), Naia Whittington ("Enemies" by Wendell Berry and "The Star" by Ann Taylor and Jane Taylor), and Ellen Zomok ("Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost and "The sorrow of true love" by Edward Thomas).
Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest founded in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Its aim is give students experience with memorization and performance, allowing them to feel more confident in public speaking, as well as to immerse them in poetry relevant to their lives. More than 3.5 million students participate in the program according to the Poetry Foundation, and each year more than $100,000 of scholarships and monies are awarded to students and their schools. In Minnesota, schools partner with The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis to be a part of Poetry Out Loud. Wabasha-Kellogg has been participating in the Poetry Out Loud program since 2006.
Charles Cushman and Elsie Jarvar will compete in the POL Semi-Finals at the Target Performance Hall at the Open Book located at 1101 Washington Avenue South, Open Book, Suite 200, in Minneapolis. They will have the opportunity to move on to the POL State Finals, which will be held there on March 8th.
Gwendolyn Gray-Burlingame - 3rd, William Sailor - 4th, Charlie Cushman - 1st, Elsie Jarvar - 2nd