Academic Excellence

Poetry — Live!

By Thuy Nguyen (Class of 2022)

From the arrangement of words, lines, verses, and rhymes, poetry is an art illustrated in the form of literature.

On Friday, February 8th, students from the girls’ division of Developing Virtue Secondary School participated in the annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition. The event was held in the high school’s Chan Hall. On one side of the room, the sounds of anxious contestants rehearsing echoed in the air. On the other side, excitement and anticipation pervaded the atmosphere as students crowded through the doors to show their vigorous support. The delivery of each performer was captivating. The variety of poems and their executions enchanted the audience.

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide event that encourages students to learn about the art of poetry through memorization and recitation. To perform in the event, each student chooses two poems from the online anthology of poems provided on the Poetry Out Loud website. Additionally, this program enables students to acquire skills for public speaking and to build self-confidence.

In the days leading up to the event, individual class competitions were held to choose nominees for the school competition. This year, there were a total of sixteen participants: six from 9th grade (Heidi Blythe, Rachel Blythe, Yeekit Chan, Kaitlin Harness, Thuy Nguyen, and Heidi Ortega), five from 10th grade (Sola Long, Iris Ng, Moniques Nguyen, Annabelle Shen, and Megan Truong), three from 11th grade (Jocelyn He, Sophia Liu, and Thanh Tieu), and two from 12th grade (Alice Aw and Brisa Yepez). Three judges, including a Ukiah poet laureate, evaluated the performances based on the following criteria: Accuracy, Physical presence, Voice and articulation, Evidence of understanding, Interpretation, and Overall performance.

Both the performers and the audience enjoyed the experience. One of the judges noted that it was remarkable how the students were able to passionately engage themselves with the poems. Thanh Tieu also mentioned that it was fascinating to watch the different ways the performers interpreted their poems. Sophia Liu added, “They made the poems their own.”

The winners of the DVGS Poetry Out Loud were Moniques Nguyen (first place) and Sola Long. They also won at the county level and will be advancing to the state competition in Sacramento on March 10th and 11th. Best of luck to them!

** It was a great honor for the school to have judges Dan Barth, Jackie Farley, and Ede Morris for this DVGS Poetry Out Loud, making this an enriching experience for the students.

Photography: Raven Li (Class of 2020); Video: Iris Ng (Class of 2021).