A number of students competed in the Johnston County school system’s Poetry Out Loud and Original Poetry contests.
Poetry Out Loud, presented in partnership with the N.C. Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. The Original Poetry contest is a county competition scored on poetic elements, theme, grammar and mechanics.
The winner of this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition is Faith Bowen, a senior at North Johnston High School. Bowen recited “Silence” by Thomas Hood and “For the Young Who Want To” by Marge Piercy.
The runner-up was Early College Academy senior Abigail Barajas, who recited “Two Guitars” by Victor Hernandez Cruz and “Ocean” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Smithfield-Selma High School’s Kiniah Street and West Johnston’s Michael Pitcher also took part in the event. Street recited “The Children of the Poor” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “Enough” by Suzanne Buffam. Pitcher recited “The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath and “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton.
In the Original Poetry contest, Shannon Booth, a student at Johnston County Middle College High School, won first place with her poem “The Art of Friendship.”
Yelitza Maldonado of Johnston County Early College Academy earned runner-up honors with her poem “A Loving Memory.”
Also taking part in the contest was Smithfield-Selma High School’s Roger Munguia Mejia with his poem “Mother Earth, How Inconsiderate!”