Two Students Represented J-DHS in Regional Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

About two weeks ago on February 16, this year’s Regional Poetry Out Loud recitation competition was held at OCC’s Storer Auditorium. J-DHS was proud to be represented by Symone Johnson (’26) and Paloma Arena (’25). The competition was free and open to the public, so any and all students that wanted to attend were welcome. 

Although a poetry reading competition might just seem like a filter for highly extraverted students, both Johnson and Arena said they wanted to expand their public speaking skills and try something new.

Students were required to memorize and recite three poems of their choosing from the Poetry Out Loud print anthology. Johnson recited “Stomp” by Nikki Grimes, “I Won’t Come” by Kabir, and “Here’s An Ocean Tale” by Kyowa Fagin Maples. While Arena performed “No, I Wasn’t Meant to Love and be Loved” by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, “One Girl” by Sappho, and “What The Oracle Said” by Shara McCallum.

“I chose these poems because the meaning behind all of them is multi-layered, and they all tell a story along the lines of loss and love,” Arena said about the reason behind choosing her poems.

The Poetry Out Loud offers 700 dollars for regional winners ($200 for the student and $500 for the school), and national winners can win up to $20,000, with awards going out to all top twelve finalists. Our area’s two regional winners will advance to the state level in NYC on March 11th, as part of the national finals in Washington, DC. 

Gabrielle Kleiner, '24
Gabrielle Kleiner is a junior at JDHS and the Rampage Lifestyle editor. She enjoys reading strange books and playing with her dog.