Poetry Out Loud, a national arts program founded 13 years ago, finally hits Wynne.
The Poetry Out Loud program allows students all over America to come and recite a poem in perfect character. A large number of students participated, but only 20 competed and represented the school. On November 19, over 60 people came to support their friends and family in the school’s library. The judges: Stephanie Emerson, Sandra Jones, and Allison Webb, had to make the decision, by tallying points because only 1 out of the 20 students there could win.
Mrs. Jones says, “It was a really hard decision because they were all so good.”
Lisa Chambers who unofficially started Poetry Out Loud at WHS says, “I have been suggesting that we do this school-wide for several years and was excited when the English department finally decided to participate. I believe that it has affected our high school because we all gained an appreciation for the undiscovered talent of our students. I feel that this will build community and support among students.”
The judges selected 3 winners: First Shanoah Lopp, second Ariel Murry, and third Adam Duvall. Shanoah Lopp will move on to state to recite her poem and compete in Little Rock with others in the state of Arkansas for $200, all expenses will be paid for, and an additional $500 for WHS. If she wins, she moves on to nationals to compete for $20,000.
Shanoah Lopp says,”Poetry is like a game in English to me. It’s sort of like a puzzle- you read the poem, but sometimes it’s hard to find the true meaning behind the words. That’s what makes it so interesting. It took me a matter of 30+ minutes to memorize all of the words but a matter of 3 to 4 days to feel the poem and to be able to enact the performance. It feels really overwhelming winning but at the same time sort of like a relieving feeling. I really wasn’t expecting to win, especially after hearing everyone that night, but overall I truly believe everyone should’ve won that night.”
Second place winner Ariel Murry gushes over her win, “I’m ecstatic. I’m happy I just got second place. Like I didn’t expect to get that far honestly. I got second place this year and you never know maybe next year I will win 1st.”
Murry and Duvall will go to Little Rock along with Lopp to show support for her while she competes on March 14.