OHS students compete in poetry recitation competition

Next semester, OHS speakers and dramatists will compete for the first time in the annual Poetry Out Loud competition, a national recitation contest created by the Poetry Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

The competition was created to help students “master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage”, according to the Poetry Out Loud website.

“For the competition, the students will have to memorize three poems and present them,” said English teacher Mr. Ed Taylor, who is leading the OHS students.

Each student selects their three poems from a list provided by Poetry Out Loud. One of the poems must be 25 lines or fewer, and one must be written before the start of the 20th century.

All participants will compete at OHS on Jan. 11. The winner will move on to regionals, which features participants from all of St. Louis. From there the winner will advance to Jefferson City for the state competition, and then on to Washington D.C. for nationals.

“Each winner at the state level gets $200 and an all expense paid trip to D.C., and then the national champion receives $20,000,” said Taylor.

So far about nine students have shown interest in the contest, but more are welcome to compete. Contact Ed Taylor for more information on how to sign up.