Medomak Valley student competes in state Poetry Out Loud contest

May 11, 2017
Courtesy of: Lisa Genthner Gunn Medomak Valley High School senior Antyna Gould placed in the top five in the state's Poetry Out Loud competition.

Waldoboro — Medomak Valley High School senior Antyna Gould traveled to the Waterville Opera House March 13 to take part in the Maine State Poetry Out Loud competition. According to poetryoutloud.org, the contest "encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.”

Nationally The Poetry Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts sponsor this program; in Maine, the Maine Arts Commission organizes the contest.

Gould's journey began two years ago, when she was introduced to the program in her sophomore English class. At Medomak Valley, all sophomores memorize and recite a poem from the Poetry Out Loud anthology at the classroom level, with outstanding classroom performers moving on to compete for a chance to represent the school at the regional competition. Gould earned runner-up honors as a sophomore and won the school competitionas both a junior and a senior. School winners compete at “northern” and “southern” regional recitation contests, with approximately 20 high schools currently represented in each region. The top five students from each region move on to compete at the state competition.

Gould first recited “Please Don’t” by Tony Hoagland. In the second round, her choice was Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Her final recitation was “A Poison Tree,” by the 18th-century English poet William Blake. Gould placed in the top five in the state’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

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