Robert Frost once said that poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and thought has found words. Eleven Bradwell Institute students mustered up the courage to share inspirational words as they recited poetry in front of their peers for round one of the Poetry Out Loud competition last month.
Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition and seeks to inspire students through poetry.
A crowd of students and teachers gathered in the school’s media center to watch their classmates recite poetry.
Students were judged on physical presence, voice and articulations, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance.
After each performance the audience snapped their fingers and clapped as the judges scored performances.
The top five competitors will move onto the district level competition where they will face Liberty County High School students and vie for a spot at regionals.
First place winner for Bradwell was Cheyenne Walker. Walker recited "Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost. In second was Allison Boyle, who recited "In Love His Grammar Grew" by Stephen Dunn.
Students Shakayla Tyson, Gabrielle Schulte and Danielle Carter also made it to the second round.
The other students who recited were Gariam Ramos, Brandon Sookkasem, Keyorra Wright-Roberts, Madison Steyer, Terellis Cox and Tiandrea Austin.
Sookkasem, senior, said he participated because he wanted to step out of his comfort zone.
"It’s not something I normally do and I really wanted to test the limits and try something new," Sookkasem said. "And reciting poetry is something totally different. I’m not really a poetry person, but I just wanted to go out of my way and do something different. Initially I felt so nervous but I did what I did, and I feel pretty good with it."
BI English teacher Marilyn Hampton, who oversaw the event, believed it went well.
"It’s hard to get up in front of a bunch of people and talk," Hampton said. She talked about the dedication of students who return to compete each year even after messing up the year before.
All the participants have the opportunity to attend a free Poetry Out Loud workshop, before the regional competition, where they can learn how to improve and prepare for next year’s competition.
Hampton said students who win the Poetry Out Loud have attended workshops more than once.
Round two of Poetry Out Loud will be at 5 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Performing Arts Center.