Poetry Out Loud Competition Shows How Much Talent J-D Has to Offer

Photo credit: Nic McPhee, Courtesy of Flickr; Creative Commons License

The Poetry Out Loud competition has finally hit J-D once again. This year’s competition brought a new set of amazing performances that blew all of the judges away. All of the participants delivered wonderful poems. Two performers, though, were on the top tier. Sophomore Anadia St John and senior Jenna Law took the top two spots, showing their true talent. Their work clearly showed as though they had to prepare two poems to recite for the selection of judges. These performances surely showed just how much talent J-D has to offer.

Senior Jenna Law was awarded second place for her performance. She seasoned her performances with lots of precision and brilliance. “For me, it’s a lot of analysis of the poems I picked so that I can deeper understand it and add my own personal connection and meaning,” she says about preparing for a competition like this. She goes on to explain how important repetition is for memorization. She expresses how she feels the hardest part of participating in a competition like this is analyzing the more complicated poems that have a deeper meaning. She had this to say about performing for the various staff members judging the competition, “[It was] not bad. Personally, I have had my fair share of performing in front of others so it wasn’t that intimidating. I do my best to use my anxious energy towards my performance.” This holds a message about performing that is very important, channeling nerves into something more helping or invigorating. Doing this can help with nerves tremendously. Right now, Law is working on her performance that will take place at the regional competition. She now must prepare another poem along with her other two. Law states, “I’ve always loved performing and poetry as two separate things and I wanted to give them a shot together after hearing about it. I really have come to love spoken word poetry, especially because of the quality of the performance it really left to the speaker and their own connection to the words.”

The first place was awarded to sophomore Anadia St John. St John was actually a little bit skeptical of entering in the first place, but with the encouragement of her family, friends, and English teacher Matt Phillips, she decided it would be a good thing for her to do. The sophomore expressed how throughout middle school she consistently loved poetry and was intrigued by the opportunity to perform poems for a selection of judges.

According to St John, “I would spend about an hour a day going back and forth with my brother saying the lines out loud and whenever I messed up he would correct me and we would start from the beginning.” Again, this competition requires focus and determination, which clearly St John and Law have tremendous amounts of. St John found speaking in front of an audience the most challenging part of the whole process, seeing as she had to perform in front of multiple members of the faculty. St John, along with Law, is beginning to prepare for the next round of the event, by practicing the two poems and adding a new one to the selection. This competition was a challenge for St John, but in the end, it was a great way to showcase her skills.

Once again, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School students have shown just how much talent they possess. Many students decided to show their skills, but two showed the most success. Senior Jenna Law took the second spot just below sophomore Anadia St John. Both of these amazing performers are now into the regional competition on February 26 and 27.

Nora Gross is a junior this year and is very excited to be co-editing the culture section. Nora loves all things surrounding fashion, music, and films.