Summit Christian Academy sophomores Molly Williams and Hailey Trimmer recently participated in the Poetry Out Loud Competition and the English-Speaking Union’s Shakespeare Competition, respectively.
Molly won second place in the poetry competition with her recitation of works by A.E. Stallings, Thomas Carew, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
“The contest changed the way I think about poetry and the way that it can affect people,” said Molly Williams. “Going through the poems, I went deep into finding the meaning of each line and I saw how much emotion the poet put into it. Those emotions can connect with anyone in different ways or forms. It fascinates me.”
The Poetry Out Loud contest is the result of the collaborative efforts of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The contest is framed around poetry memorization and recitation to not only expose students to great poetry, but also to help them master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
“My favorite part of the Shakespeare competition was seeing the different artistic interpretations of the various monologues performed,” said Hailey Trimmer. “It made Shakespeare become more relevant for the modern day. Reading it can be confusing sometimes, but performing it and seeing it performed made it come to life,” she added.
ESU Shakespeare is a school-based program for 9-12 graders that focuses on equipping students with communications skills and an appreciation of the language and literature. The competition was held in February at the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center and included 150 students from 14 area schools.