It’s Time to Get Loud with Poetry Out Loud


Riley Betterelli, Author

The national poetry competition, Poetry Out Loud, is approaching and this is what you should know about it.  

Mrs. Salfia, an English teacher here at Spring Mills High School, explained what poetry is in her words,” Poetry is how people make sense of the world.” defines poetry as, “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.” 

The official website for Poetry Out Loud describes Poetry Out Loud as, “Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.” Mrs. Salfia said, “Poetry Out Loud helps students connect with Poetry. It also builds critical thinking and analysis skills.” 

You would first start in the class competition, then the school competition, then the state competition, and finally the national competition. Mrs. Salfia states that,” Classroom competitions will wrap up in November. School-wide competitions will take place in December and January.”

All participants in the 2019 Poetry Out Loud.

Spring Mills High School has been participating in Poetry Out Loud for a while. Mrs. Salfia stated that, “We have had a Poetry Out Loud program since 2015. Since then, we have had several state-wide finalists and one state-wide winner. Additionally, we have hosted poets such as Hanif Abdurraquib and José Olivarez.”

José Olivarez and Keegan Lester reciting poems to SMHS students.

Spring Mills High School has a recent winner of the state-wide competition. Rhéa Ming, a graduate of Spring Mills High School, won the state-wide competition in 2019-2020 when she was a senior. Hopefully we can get another state-wide winner this year! Sign up for the class competition if you can!