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Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud

The Poetry Out Loud contest is part of a sophomore-year project. Students pick a poem from the Poetry Out Loud Poetry Anthology, memorize it and write a personal narrative connecting a story from their lives to their poem. Students then begin the process of the competition by reciting the poem for their classes. Students with the highest scores and most votes from their peers on their recitations advance to the school level competition.This year's winner was Matthew Aronin, with second place going to Nicole Cobb and third place going to Sam Feldstein.

(This story first appeared in The RamPage, Weber's online student newspaper. Thank you to its author, Sloane Warner, for her permission to reprint it here.)

On October 26, Weber held its third annual Poetry Out Loud contest. The contest was brought to Weber by the English Department and the competition's coordinator, Ms. Leigh Herman, in 2016. This year's competition included 13 students, all from the sophomore class. In the past, the competition has included 12 students, but due to multiple competitors qualifying, this year's event was a bit larger. This year's winner was Matthew Aronin, with second place going to Nicole Cobb and third place going to Sam Feldstein. The judges of the competition were Mr. John Baum, Mr. Mike Bennett, Ms. Olivia Rocamora, Ms. Barbara Rosenblit and Ms. Cassandra Henderson. Weber junior Jacob Botnick, who won last year's school competition, emceed the contest and Mr. Drew Cohen provided musical interludes.

The Poetry Out Loud contest is part of a sophomore-year project. Students pick a poem from the Poetry Out Loud Poetry Anthology, memorize it and write a personal narrative connecting a story from their lives to their poem. Students then begin the process of the competition by reciting the poem for their classes. Students with the highest scores and most votes from their peers on their recitations advance to the school level competition.

The Poetry Out Loud contest is a national recitation contest that was created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. According to the Poetry Out Loud website, it now includes "more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico." Students compete at the school level before proceeding to the state level competition. State level winners will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National level competition, and their school will receive $500 for use towards poetry education. At the National competition, $50,000 are given to both students and schools in stipends.

This year's competitors and poems included:

Rami Fabian — "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
Sam Feldstein — "It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Albert Guest
Lucas Jannett — "The Obligation To Be Happy" by Linda Pastan
Nicole Cobb — "Hope is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson
Carly Spandorfer — "In a Dark Time" by Theodore Roethke
Bobbi Sloan — "So We'll Go No More a Roving" by George Gordon Lord Byron
Micah Bronfman — "The Barnacle" by A.E. Stallings
Jordan Liban — "Awakening in New York" by Maya Angelou
Leora Lewis — "From Blossoms" by Li-Young Lee
Paulina Lebowitz — "Fairy-tale Logic" by A.E. Stallings
Matthew Aronin — "Waiheke" by James Brown
Logan Sucan — "Dead Butterfly" by Ellen Bass
Jake Friedman — "On Quitting" by Edgar Albert Guest
Congratulations to all of this year's participants, and good luck to Matthew Aronin at the Regional competition!