Poetry Out Loud is a nation-wide organization that focuses on enlightening students on the beauty of poetry. This year Marian decided between six ninth graders, and the English Department ended up nominating freshman Madeline Smith as the school winner.
The contest itself is judged on how well the chosen students can recite famous poems. “Poetry Out Loud is a contest where students choose a poem from the official website and perform it and then their performance is judged and graded based on things like enunciation and accuracy. It starts out with districts, then state, and then goes to the national level,” Smith said.
In Nebraska, on Friday, March 12, the state Finals were held. Smith was awarded second place in the state with the Runner Up Award. She won a personal cash prize and $200 for Marian’s library to buy poetry books to add to the collection.
Smith was drawn to this because of her natural inclination towards literature and acting. “I am really active in theatre around Omaha so the acting part of the contest just stuck out to me, especially with theatre being shut down due to COVID,” Smith said.
Ellie Peters and Grace Sparwasser also received recognitions in poetry this year. They both will be
featured in the 2021 Rising Stars publication that is a National Student Poetry contest run by Appelley Publishing. This will be released in April and features works by students all over the world.
Sparwasser has been submitting her writing to contests since the fourth grade but until recently, she never tried to write poetry.
Similar to Sparwasser, Peters hadn’t branched out into poetry before this. “I haven’t submitted poems to any contest except this and Burn, but I have been submitting stuff to writing contents since fourth grade,” Peters said.
Marian’s literary and art publication, Burn, is a great place to start submitting work, no matter how experienced the author or artist is.