Several local students advanced to the state semifinals in this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition.
MacKenzie Bettmann-Adcock from Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough recited “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare and “Thoughtless Cruelty” by Charles Lamb. Alexandria Harris-Becks from Clement Early College High School in Durham recited “There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House” by Emily Dickinson and “Love Song” by Dorothy Parker. Both advanced to the finals.
Emily DeMaioNewton from Wakefield High School in Raleigh read “More Lies” by Karin Gottshall and “The Affliction of Richard” by Robert Bridges in the semifinals.
Poetry Out Loud, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and coordinated by the N.C. Arts Council, advocates learning about poetry and encourages public speaking skills. Students memorize and recite poems before a panel of judges at the class level, then for school, state and national competitions. Participating schools received online anthologies, a program guide and other supplements to help make Poetry Out Loud fit in to the curriculum. The state semifinals and finals were judged by N.C. writers, and Joseph Bathanti, the state poet laureate, was on hand to provide inspiration to students.