Poetry Out Loud
contest challenges grade school students to creatively recite poems, taking turns at the microphone before a panel of judges. Lowcountry students will take one step toward the national stage Sun. Jan. 26 when school-level winners square off in the regional competition at the College of Charleston’s Stern Center Ballroom. The competition begins at 1 p.m.
Students in grades 8 through 12 will recite poems from the contest’s broad-ranging list options, which includes everything from classic Emily Bronté and Edgar Allan Poe to contemporary poetry by Toi Derricotte and Billy Collins. Frances Kablick Keel, the state program director for Poetry Out Loud, says the contest broadens students’ horizons.
“The biggest lesson for them is learning poise and self-confidence, and also learning so much about their literary heritage — not only the classic poetry that they’re forced to learn, but also opening their minds to more contemporary poetry they’ve never heard of,” she says. This year’s contestants include students from Charleston County School of the Arts, Goose Creek High, Military Magnet Academy, Porter Gaud, Ashley Hall, and Wando High School.
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