Poetry Out Loud Returns to GHS for a Second Year

(top, left to right) Nadia Socarras, Sasha Kerr, Erin Maguire, and Tori Venable; (bottom) Ms. Holloway-Costa

On Tuesday, December 2, Goochland High School hosted its second Poetry Out Loud school-wide poetry recitation competition. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest, and last year saw then-junior Morgan Potts represent Goochland High School for the first time ever in the regional competition. This year, that honor will belong to senior Sasha Kerr, who won on Tuesday evening and will proceed to the regional competition which will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 13, at the Children’s Theater at Willow Lawn in Richmond.

Ms. Emily Holloway-Costa, English department chair, once again brought the contest to GHS and was supported by the enthusiastic participation and presence of fellow department members Ms. Marianne Whisler (as a new prompter) and Mr. Jeremy Wampler (reprising his role as score tabulator).

Ms. Holloway-Costa commented, “Last school year was all about bringing something new to GHS with poetry as we built up a presence with Mr. John Blake’s impactful poetry workshops in 2013, and this year’s competition is about maintaining that and expanding our presence as real contenders in the regional competition. We learned so much there with that first experience, and I think everyone involved is excited to see the growth in understanding to improve the already memorable performance. We had four contenders this year compared to two last year, and all were of high caliber and remarkable commitment. This is a wonderful upward trend that I hope to see grow further. I am thrilled to see Sasha advancing to this next level of competition and know her other competitors have a great respect for her and her ability and drive.

Senior Sasha Kerr won first place reciting the moving “Broken Promises” and “Friendship After Love,” while junior Nadia Socarras finished a close second with “Ebb” and the rhythmic “Aria.” Senior Erin Maguire delivered a melodious rendition of “The Children’s Hour” and a profound “Apollo,” and freshman Tori Venable delivered the “Sonnet 55″ and the magical “All Hallows’ Eve.” All were met with applause and respect for the careful time and genuine effort put into their performances.

Judges once again included Mr. John Wright, Goochland School Board member; Mrs. Erin Yearout Patton, GHS Government teacher and recipient of Goochland’s 2013 Teacher of the Year award; and Mr. John Blake, a locally and nationally recognized poet widely credited with bringing slam poetry and its culture of emotional honesty and linguistic excellence and precision to GHS’s student body. All served last year and gave remarkable feedback and encouragement alike.

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