From W.E.B. Dubois, to Robert Frost, to Nikki Giovanni, to Pablo Neruda, and beyond, the words of some of the world’s master poets resounded from the stage of the Jack and Nancy Becker Center at Indian Creek School’s (ICS) 2017 Poetry Out Loud Recitation. “Taking the stage requires a great amount of courage, and taking the stage to recite poetry is an even more incredible feat, shared Poetry Out Loud advisor Matt McCormick. The 27 students in grades 7-12 who competed in this year’s competition are to be commended. Any one of the performances would have made the ICS community proud at the Anne Arundel County Poetry Out Loud Finals, but senior Cayla Turner won the honor with her poignant renditions of “Life in a Love,” by Robert Browning and “Song of the Feet,” by Nikki Giovvanni.
Poetry Out Loud is a literary arts program created by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. Through this program, students across Maryland are enriched by this national arts education program that encourages the mastery of great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Mini-contests were held in Indian Creek Literature classes over the past week, and representatives from each class competed in the school competition, where performances were scored by a panel of judges in the categories of Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Evidence of Understanding, Overall Performance, and Accuracy.
While the official Poetry Out Loud competition starts at ninth grade, ten ICS seventh and eighth grade students volunteered to participate this year. Eighth grade students, Rebecca Colley, Kaiya Collins, Leah Hall and Nicholas Menendez, along with seventh grade students William Dickinson, Micah Ferrell-Rogers, Victoria Griﬃth, Kamrynn Hobbs, Lillian Holley, and Julia Leavitt all gave impressive performances. In this category, Leah Hall won first place with her recitation of “Dead Butterfly” by Ellen Bass, and Kaiya Collins earned second place with “The Song of the Smoke” by W.E.B. Dubois.
17 Contestants in grades 9-12 each recited two poems, whose scores were combined for the final competition. Jocelyn Auld ’18, Lucy Baukhages ’18, Adam Bizri ’19, Alaina Clemence ’18, Katherine Desrosiers ’18, Annabelle Derrick ’21, Maeve Drury ’19, Jacob Hawthorne ’20, Jordyne Hebron ’20, Chidera Irono ’19, Justine Krizan ’20, Sean Lonergan ’20, Avery McMahon ’18, Michael Mercer, ’20, Ally Snead ’19, Abigail Stephens ’21, and Cayla Turner ’18 each gave inspiring performances. While Cayla took first place, Alaina Clemence earned a close second with her performances of “Thoughtless Cruelty,” by Charles Lamb and “Bleeding Heart” by Carmen Giménez Smith. Third place ended in a tie with Lucy Baukhages’ renditions of “I felt a funeral, in my brain” by Emily Dickinson and “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII” by Pablo Neruda complementing Maeve Drury’s “In the Desert” by Stephen Crane and “Dear Reader” by Rita Mae Reese.
Winners from the county competition move on to compete at the state and national levels where scholarship prizes are awarded. Best wishes to Cayla Turner as she moves on to represent Indian Creek School!