Poetry was brought to life at Mepham when 17 students took part in the eighth annual schoolwide Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest that encourages the study of great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Recitation enables students to convey the essence, tone and feeling of a poem with their voice.
More than 400 students competed in their individual English classes, with class winners progressing to the schoolwide competition, which was moderated by program coordinator Nicole Maresca and English department chairperson Marie Netto. From there, two winners will move on to a regional competition, followed by a state competition and, ultimately, the national finals in Washington, D.C.
Students selected a poem to recite during the competition in front of a panel of judges composed of English teachers. Judges based scores on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of complexity, evidence of understanding and overall performance.
Senior Lisa Condoluci earned first-place honors for her delivery of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Novel.” Senior Alyssa Rabinowitz recited Edward Hirsch’s “Poor Angels” for the second-place spot, and senior Jaime Marvin took third place for her presentation of E. E. Cummings’ “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in].”
Four years ago, Mepham’s winner, Steven Tsai, was the New York State Poetry Out Loud Champion. Tsai represented New York at the national finals in April 2011.