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Poetry Out Loud!

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Shoreham-Wading River High School students continue to master public speaking skills and build self-confidence, and have a new outlet to aid in those abilities. The inaugural Poetry Out Loud event was recently held at the school, spearheaded by English teachers Jennifer Nazer and Sara Trenn.

The national poetry recitation contest works to encourage high school students to memorize and recite or perform real poems while learning about literary history and contemporary life. The students work with a preselected list provided by Poetry Out Loud. They are evaluated based on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.

Student Emily Scherl took first place with her recitation of Emily Dickinson’s “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers.” Student Katie Spencer recited “The Maldive Shark” by Herman Melville, and Alex Tumilowicz recited “Vain and Careless” by Robert Graves. The competition was judged by English teachers Brenna Gilroy and Vincent Ball.

“This came about as a desire for an additional focus on poetry that Ms. Nazer and I have been discussing,” Ms. Trenn said. “For our first time, we were very happy with the turnout and the outcome of the performances.”

Both Ms. Nazer and Ms. Trenn and are already eager to work on next year’s event, focusing on starting earlier in the year to garner more student enthusiasm and give them plenty of time to prepare.