Weber’s Poetry Out Loud contest


The winners of Weber’s Poetry Out Loud Competition: (L-R) Matthew Aronin (first place), Sam Feldstein (third place) and Nicole Cobb (second place). (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)

Sloane Warner

On October 26, Weber held its third annual Poetry Out Loud contest. The contest was brought to Weber by the English Department and the competition’s coordinator, Ms. Leigh Herman, in 2016. This year’s competition included 13 students, all from the sophomore class. In the past, the competition has included 12 students, but due to multiple competitors qualifying, this year’s event was a bit larger. This year’s winner was Matthew Aronin, with second place going to Nicole Cobb and third place going to Sam Feldstein. The judges of the competition were Mr. John Baum, Mr. Mike Bennett, Ms. Olivia Rocamora, Ms. Barbara Rosenblit and Ms. Cassandra Henderson. Weber junior Jacob Botnick, who won last year’s school competition, emceed the contest and Mr. Drew Cohen provided musical interludes.

The Poetry Out Loud contest is part of a sophomore-year project. Students pick a poem from the Poetry Out Loud Poetry Anthology, memorize it and write a personal narrative connecting a story from their lives to their poem. Students then begin the process of the competition by reciting the poem for their classes. Students with the highest scores and most votes from their peers on their recitations advance to the school level competition.

The Poetry Out Loud contest is a national recitation contest that was created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. According to the Poetry Out Loud website, it now includes “more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.” Students compete at the school level before proceeding to the state level competition. State level winners will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National level competition, and their school will receive $500 for use towards poetry education. At the National competition, $50,000 are given to both students and schools in stipends.

This year’s competitors and poems included:

Congratulations to all of this year’s participants, and good luck to Matthew Aronin at the Regional competition!