Return of Poetry Out Loud

A popular contest at Bangor High School Returns this year with new Management.

Mr. Crabtree, along with Ms. Kirkpatrick, will be running POL in Peakes this month.

Mr. Crabtree, along with Ms. Kirkpatrick, will be running POL in Peakes this month.

Jasper Bennett, Senior Reporter

BANGOR-On December 22, Bangor High will host a school-wide competition of Poetry Out Loud in the auditorium.

Poetry Out Loud was created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage the art of performing poetry. The competition is a nationwide competition for high school students to compete with over $50,000 in awards and school or corporate stipends that are rewarded to contenders during the Poetry Out Loud National finals.

Bangor Maine Students have done well in past regional and statewide competitions, such as BHS Alumni Ogechi Obi, who advanced to the Poetry Out Loud Maine State finals in 2020, or Will Whitham in the 2009 and 2010 state competitions.

“Poetry Out Loud used to be a very big deal here and was very popular. The Peakes auditorium was full of kids during Poetry Out Loud day before COVID really took the wind out of our sails,” says Mrs. Throckmorton, the previous advisor who ran the Poetry Out Loud competition.

“I’d love to see it come back to life and have kids know what it means, know what it feels like, know about the positive energy that it brings, and have it become an important part of the English department again,” she added.

This year, English teachers Mr. Crabtree and Mrs. Kirkpatrick have taken over the role of managing the schoolwide competition.

“Poetry Out Loud is a competition where students recite poems, usually in the class first, then with the school competition,” says Crabtree. “I think that students should consider doing it because there are some teachers offer extra credit if you go on to the school competition, which is great, but also to get up in front of the school, and you know, recite something and work with a piece that is not necessarily your own but you can make it into something that feels like your own. It helps with skills, like public speaking skills, and things of that nature.”

Class competitions will occur when teachers decide. Winners will then be offered the chance to compete in the school competition.