Students vie for Poetry Out Loud state title

Students vie for Poetry Out Loud state title

Erma Hinton

Senior Ian Lee and sophomore Christina Morris will compete at the state level of the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest Monday, Feb. 20.

Faith Frost, News Writer

    Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide poetry recitation contest, is an event Montevallo High School has been participating in since last year. This year two students have been selected to participate in the state preliminary competition: senior, Ian Lee and sophomore, Christina Morris.
    The contest begins with the classroom competition at the beginning of the school year. In this competition students interested in participating have one week to recite a poem in front of any class they choose. Then, if the student’s recitation was good enough, the teacher will submit the student’s name for the school competition.
    The school competition is held in the Montevallo High School Performing Arts Center. In this competition the participants recite their poetry in front of three judges. The judges then select two school winners, one for his or her poetry recitation, and another for his or her poetry writing. The school winners then move on to the state competition. This year the state competition will be held at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Monday, Feb. 20.
    Ian Lee is the school winner for his excellent poetry writing skills in his original poem, “Starlight.”
    “The competition has made me appreciate poetry more,” Lee said. “I see poetry completely different now.”
    Sophomore English teacher Erma Hinton is the Poetry Out Loud coordinator.
     “Ian has a big musical background,” Hinton said. “He plays the guitar and writes his own music, so writing poetry comes naturally to him. Plus, he’s a great performer.” Christina     
    Morris is the school winner for her recitation of the poems “Reverie in Open Air” by Rita Dove, “Four Glimpses of Night” by Frank Marshall Davis, and “The Paradox” by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
    “Christina loves reciting,” Hinton said. “She’s quite the natural.”
    Morris performed well in last year’s competitions, but this year she made the top two.
    “I like Poetry Out Loud because it develops presentation skills that I will use for the rest of my life,” Morris said.
    Lee and Morris have been working on their recitation with Hinton and professors from the University of Alabama ever since winning the school competition.
    “The competition is a great scholarship opportunity,” said Lee. “So hopefully I’ll do well.”