Algonquin’s annual celebration of Poetry Out Loud

Above: The annual competition challenges students to give voice to great poetry. (video posted to YouTube by Northborough Cable)

This winter, Algonquin Regional High School held its annual in-school poetry competition. Poetry Out Loud challenges students to recite “great poetry”. Finalists performed at the end of January in front of an auditorium full of their peers.

The school event is part of a national competition:

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

First hundreds of ARHS students competed at a classroom level. Eight made it through the semi-finals, to compete in the school finals.

The finals was recorded by Northborough Cable, and you can watch it above. Spoiler alert, sophomore Taylor Zhang won top honors for the school. (You can skip straight to his recitation here.)

Advisor Seth Czarnecki told the audience that Zhang will move on to compete in the regional level competition on Saturday, March 3rd.

There’s a lot more to the competition than memorizing the words to a poem. You can read more about the school’s involvement and this year’s finalists in a post by ARHS Harbinger:

Eight contestants from all grades participated in the Algonquin Poetry Out Loud finals on Tuesday January 30. Out of the eight competitors, sophomore Joe Zhang was selected as the winner to move on to the Massachusetts state finals on March 11, with the poems “Snow Day” by Billy Collins and In the “Basement of the Goodwill Store” by Ted Kooser. (read more)

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