District Poetry Out Loud Competition
POL 2014
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Poetry Out Loud 2014 Finalists
These students were the finalists in the district Poetry Out Loud competition, held at Dare County Arts Council on the evening of Monday, January 27. From left (back) from First Flight High School - Isaiah Lewis, Sam Eure, and Zach Smith; (front) from Manteo High School - Taylor Parker, Hannah Smith, and Katelyn Medlin. Second place went to Sam Eure, and the first place winner was Isaiah Lewis. With the help of two $50 stipends from each school's PTSO, Lewis will travel to the state Poetry Out Loud competition in Greensboro in March.

Poetry Out Loud District Competition

Dare County Schools held its Poetry Out Loud district competition on Monday, January 27 at the Dare County Arts Council location in the Old Courthouse in downtown Manteo. 

Six students, all school champions, were amazing in the recitations of their selected poems - not once did the prompter have to give a hint. Sam Eure, Isaiah Lewis, Zach Smith - representing First Flight High School, and Katelyn Medlin, Taylor Parker, and Hannah Smith - from Manteo High School - were flawless in their presentations and interpretations of the poetry. They each recited two poems in all, with first and second rounds.

MHS' Katelyn Medlin took on 
Edna St. Vincent Millay's Dirge without Music, and 
Jones Very's The Clouded Morning; Taylor Parker chose 
Ilya Kamisky's Author’s Prayer and Edgar Allan Poe's Alone; while Hannah Smith selected Ted Kooser's Abandoned Farmhouse and Ernest Dowson's April Love. FFHS' Zach Smith provided 
  a rendition of 
Gerard Manley Hopkins' The Windhover  and Dennis O'Driscoll's Tomorrowwhile runner-up Sam Eure recited Walt Whitman's  A March in the Ranks Hard-prest, and the Road Unknown, and Gregory Djanikian's Mrs. Caldera’s House of Things; and winner Isaiah Lewis approached Fulke Grenville's Chorus Sacerdotum and A.E. Stallings' Sestina: Like with a humble gusto.

"I appreciate the volunteers giving their time and expertise to the competition in various capacities. I want to thank Dare County Arts Council and Chris Sawin for providing the venue and for the group's interest in our schools," said Amy Powell, English department Chair at First Flight High School, and the Poetry Out Loud district coordinator.  English teacher at Manteo High School, Anna Thomas, directs POL activities at her school.

MHS teacher Mike Phelan, Currituck County Middle School Language Arts teacher Tara Farrell, and Gillian Stewart from FFHS PTSO all served as recitation judges;  FFHS teacher Skip Saunders served as accuracy judge; community volunteer Barbara St. Amand was the promptor, and Lisa Stone and Bobbie Murray, of MHS PTSO, served as tabulators. Hunt Thomas was the videographer. The competition will be aired on GovEd TV, and be streamed on-demand from Dare County Schools website.

"In all, about 800 students participated in some way in the school and district Poetry Out Loud competitions," noted Powell. "Each year, the students continue to amaze me with their recitation talents."

Art students from both schools contributed works based on poems from their respective school-wide competitions that were on display. The FFHS and MHS PTOs each provide a $50 travel stipend for the Lewis's to the state Poetry Out Loud in Greensboro in March.