Words Come Alive at BHS's Poetry Out Loud Finals [Video]

The Burlington Poetry Out Loud finals were held last Friday in the school's auditorium.

The written word came alive at last Friday when the school held its .

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. For the competition, students across the country select a poem from the competition's list and try to bring it to life through recitation. The winner from each participating school can move onto state finals and finally to the National Finals in Washington, DC, this year being held from May 13 to 15.

Eight students competed in the final round of the BHS competition. Initially, all students in the school were tasked with learning a poem in their English classes and encouraged to participate in the competition. Semi-finals were held earlier this month with about 25 students vying to move onto the next stage.

This year's winner was Pranav Menon, who read "The Unknown Citizen" by W. H. Auden and "Two Guitars" by Victor Hernández Cruz. Pranav, a sophomore, is a member of the Burlington High Band. Pranav visits Kerala in southern India every two years and is a fan of music and science fiction literature.

First runner-up was senior Zaven Ovian, Burlington High's 2011 Poetry Out Loud winner, who read William Shakespeare's "Sonnet XXIX" and "A Farmer Remembers Lincoln" by Witter Bynner. Zavian is no stranger to the stage; he played the lead in the school's production of "" and last year took the role of Lumière in "." This was Ovian's third time in the Poetry Out Loud semi-finals. 

The second runner-up was junior Marissa Coté who read "The Painter" by John Ashbery and W.D. Snodgrass's "A Locked House." Since her freshman year, Coté has been involved in numerous BHS productions. She is a member of the school's swim team and the Idle Hands group. This was Coté's third consecutive year as a Poetry Out Loud finalist. 

Also in the finals:

Junior Emily Martin who recited "The True-Blue American" by Delmore Schwartz and "Calling Him Back From Layoff" by Bob Hicok.

Junior Nicollette Moodie who recited Shakespeare's "Sonnet XV: When I Consider Everything That Grows" and "Beautiful Wreckage" by W. D. Ehrhart.

Senior Emily Murgo who recited Dylan Thomas's "Don't Go Gently Into That Good Night" and "The Author of Her Book" by Anne Bradstreet.

Senior Toula Papadopoulos who recited "Mingus at the Showplace" by William Matthews and "Calling Him Back From Layoff" by Bob Hicok.

Sophomore Kylie Scott who recited "Death, Be Not Proud" by John Donne and "The Empty Dance Shoes" by Cornelius Eady.

Check out our videos from Friday's competition. The first shows Menon reciting "Two Guitars" by Victor Hernández Cruz and the second features clips from each of the other finalists.


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