A Personal Review of Poetry Out Loud


By Michael Stile  

Every year, Wayne Valley participates in Poetry Out Loud. Most kids dread having to memorize a poem, but are then surprised to learn that they won in their class. That was me. Not only did I win the class competition, I also went on to win the school competition, which I was even more surprised about. It’s not just memorizing the poem that’s the hard part; you need to capture the emotion and meaning of the poem as well. For the regional competition, you have to do all of that for three poems. Almost every Friday after school, I would meet with my English teacher, Ms. Solomon, in her classroom to work on all my poems. These one-on-one sessions helped a great deal, and it was fantastic to work with her. When the regional competition came, I, along with everyone else there, was both excited and nervous. Everyone was so kind and we all enjoyed talking with each other before the competition started. It was then that the people in charge sent us all backstage to wait before we began. The competition was three rounds long and each student was required to recite a different poem every round. After the second round, the five finalists who would continue onto the next round were announced. After that, they announced the two regional champions who would be going to the state competition. Even though I was not a finalist, I was still proud of my work and happy to be there. Overall, I think Poetry Out Loud is a great experience and everyone should try it. You may think that poetry is not for you, but I promise you could find some poems that you relate to and you may even be the best in your class. Poetry Out Loud was an amazing experience and I hope even more students participate next year.