Poetry Out Loud!

By Jozlyn B.

To read or not to read: that is the question…

Or is it? 

For Jozlyn Bew, it sure isn’t.

On February 11th, Jozlyn competed in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition, following a schoolwide victory. She selected two poems, committed them to memory, and spoke them as performance pieces for an audience of teachers, poets, and family members. 

Her first poem was Author’s Prayer by Ilya Kaminsky – a short, while meaningful poem about an author’s images of tragic death and beautiful life. Jozlyn considers herself a writer, one who enjoys heavy themes such as the ones expressed above, so the poem spoke to her. 

Her second poem was Portrait of my Gender as [Inaudible] by Meg Day – a poem about the author’s gender identity and self expression. Jozlyn finds the journey of self expression fascinating and loves the idea of people finding their voices and confidence, so she felt this poem was important to bring to light. 

Jozlyn went up against five other schools, all vying for a spot in the state competition, hosted in Columbus Ohio. Two out of the six competitors would receive spots in the Columbus competition. They would be judged based on physical presence, articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. Jozlyn elegantly displayed all of these requirements, earning her 2nd place overall, as well as a spot in the state competition in Columbus. Jozlyn will now be required to perform these pieces once more, as well as a third one she will have to memorize. If Jozlyn places first in the state competition, she will receive a $200 prize, as well as a spot in the Poetry Out Loud Nationals. 

Let’s cheer on Jozlyn Bew! She’s making Fed Hock proud. 

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