Poetry Out Loud Takes Center Stage

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Poetry Out Loud Takes Center Stage

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With nothing but a microphone and a voice, four students took the stage on January, Thursday the 17th. These students included Kaylee Braidwood, Bryce Dershem, Grace McIntyre, and Padmini Rao, all members of the club Poetry Out Loud.

    Each student stood on the stage in the Recital Hall and projected their poems to the crowd. The judges watched attentively, including Mrs. Mancinelli, Mr. Bowne, Mrs. Brattstrom, and Mrs. O’Keefe, as they each performed two poems of their choice.

    The winner of the competition continues on to regionals at Rutgers Camden where he or she will compete against winners from high schools in the area.

    The atmosphere of the recital hall was warm and positive with each students voice filling the space. Mrs. Pomerantz began by introducing the competition and Ms. Walker by announcing each student.

    For over five years, Mrs. Pomerantz has been doing Poetry Out Loud. She explained her reason for involvement by saying “it’s my meditation for the day.”

    The club prospers due to Pomerantz who adds a lighthearted feel to the club. When Ms. Walker was questioned about her reason for participating in the club, her answer was simply, “… because Pomerantz is so fun to work with and poetry is so cool.”

    Both teachers add a warm relaxed feeling to the club that has little commitment. They meet every Thursday for as little as 30 minutes.

   For the beginning portion of the year, four students prepared their poems to recite on stage. The main focus of the competition was being able to remember two poems and recite them with the infliction needed to portray the meaning of each.

    Bryce Dershem did so by choosing two poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Paul Laurence Dunbar which both focused on love.

  Bryce chose these poems due to their beautiful meanings and emotions. “With my recitations,” he said, “I hope to carry on these meanings and emotions.” His warm tone of voice and use of hand motions impressed the judges and the audience.

    Dershem won the competition. He now moves on to regionals. Bryce said that he was welcomed into the club and that he encourages others to join.

    Another participant in the competition, Grace McIntyre, explained that the competition helped her find her voice and become more confident in herself. “I felt that I found my confidence boost,” said Grace.

    Additionally, Kaylee Braidwood recited Emily Dickinson and Al Young because she wanted to bring light to the confusing but honest meanings behind their poetry. She explained that every student is welcome in the club, but those who have a love for English or read poetry are the people who normally join.

    The love of poetry was seen through Kaylee as she stood on stage.  “Writing poetry is so therapeutic,” she said. “And I recommend everyone try it. It is one of the best coping mechanisms out there and I stand by that wholeheartedly!”

   Every member of the club highly suggests others to join. Caden Diaz, a sophmore in the club, shared his love for the club. “Mrs. Pomerantz’s passion for the written word is contagious and makes the club so fun to be apart of,” he said.

     After the competition, the club will focus on their magazine called “poetry in bloom” where students will have a chance to include some of their original works.

    The club is a great experience for all the students who join. Ms. Walker summed up the club beautifully in one sentence: “It’s a gentle brave thing to do and just the position of those two words explains how the experience is.”