High school poetry contests crown winners

From News ReleaseFebruary 24, 2014 

Contestants in the Poetry Out Loud competition were, from left, Alexandra Nikas, winner Daisy Marshall, Faith Bowen, Destiny McDaniel and runner-up Andrew Sledge.


Johnston County high school students competed recently in the Poetry Out Loud and Original Poetry competitions in Smithfield.

Poetry Out Loud is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Original Poetry is a county-based competition scored on poetic elements, theme, grammar and mechanics.

Daisy Marshall, a senior at Early College Academy, won this year’s Poetry Out Load competition. She recited “Dirge without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay and “The Legend” by Garrett Hongo.

The runner-up was West Johnston High School senior Andrew Sledge, who recited “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Colleridge and “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Other contestants were Faith Bowen of North Johnston High, Alexandra Nikas of West Johnston and Destiny McDaniel of Smithfield-Selma High.

Bowen recited “Echo” by Christina Rossetti and “Deliberate” by Amy Uyematsu. Nikas recited “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy. McDaniel recited “Beautiful Wreckage” by W.D. Ehrhart and “Life in a Love” by Robert Browning.

In the Original Poetry competition, Dorothy Colon, a sophomore at Smithfield-Selma High, took home the first-place honors with her sonnet. “Who Am I?”

Skyler Peterson, a freshman at Early College Academy, earned runner-up honors with her poem, “My Unwoven Silhouette.” Third place went to Olivia Briere of Middle College High School for her poem, “Don’t Stare at the Light too Long. You’ll Go Blind.”

For Poetry Out Loud, Johnston County students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 600 classic and contemporary poems. Judges evaluated articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty and accuracy.

The Johnston County competition was held Jan. 23, and the winner will advance to the state contest March 15 in Greensboro.

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