2018 Poetry Out Loud

Justin Peters, Student Journalist

WEST ORANGE, Nj — The 12th Annual Poetry Out Loud Finals were a roaring success! It was awesome listening to all of the wonderful finalists recite poems. The poems were well-selected for the finalists and every finalist fit the poem they performed.

The finalists performed beautifully in the first round! Round One kicked off with Kai McCall’s chilling rendition of “All Hallows Eve” sent shivers down my spine. Olivia Ridley took the stage next and recited an Anne Bradstreet poem that was sweet and calming to listen to. Katie Meyerson recited a short Emily Dickinson poem filled with pride and hope. Nooha Kawsar’s version of “Anthem for the Doomed Youth” gave me goosebumps and is about a war that the poet, Wilfred Owen experienced. Ashlea Hume painted a picture with her performance of a Henry David Thoreau poem followed by Juaquin Goodbar’s beautiful rendition of “Violins.” Orianna Carter recited a lovely version of “Invitation to Love,” and Anna Favetta recited “Diameter,” a heartbreaking poem about friendship and death. Noemi Pare ended round one with an inspirational version of the poem “Envy.”

Round Two was even better despite the high expectations set after round one! The round started with Juaquin Goodbar who recited a wordy and descriptive poem called “Work Without Hope.” Noemi Pare’s version of “After a Rainstorm,” was interesting to hear. Ashlea Hume gave a funny and witty rendition of a Mary Bernard poem and Orianna Carter recited an amazing Edith Wharton poem containing lots of words I never heard of. Katie Meyerson gave an outstanding recitation of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Anna Favetta told a dark and mysterious poem written by the master of dark and mysterious himself, Edgar Allen Poe flooding the auditorium with chilling horror. Olivia Ridley gave a dramatic performance of a poem called “Bleeding Heart” and Kai McCall recitation created a clear image of the poem, “Amor Mundi,” and Nooha Kawsar recited another Emily Dickinson poem that filled the auditorium with hope.

While all of the performances were amazing,  the real stars of Poetry Out Loud were Shanelle Chambliss and Rachel Favetta! Shanelle recited a creepy, but great William Blake poem that was hard to top. But, nonetheless, she brought the house down with an awesome poem called “Dawn of Man.” Rachel’s cool and realistic style of a poem called, “The Albatross,” was depressing and suspenseful but her second poem was a George Gascoigne poem. She conveyed many different feelings throughout her recitation of the Gascoigne poem but still made the point clear using humor and sarcasm. Shanelle Chambliss won runner up and Rachel will be going on to compete in the state after being crowned West Orange High School Poetry Out Loud Champion.

Poetry Out Loud was a great success this year put together by english teachers’ Ms. Harvat and Ms. Wachtel, the show could not have been better. Good luck, Rachel and I cannot wait for next year’s Poetry Out Loud.