Poetry Out Loud

Congratulations to Poetry Out Loud Finalists and Winners!

County’s Poetry Out Loud Champion is Named

On Sunday, February 8 twelve finalists competed to represent Contra Costa County in Poetry Out Loud’s State Championship next month. They recited two poems each, from memory, to an audience of nearly 200 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center in San Ramon.

First place winner Diane Rodriguez. She is a junior at Monte Vista High in Danville. Her interpretations of “the mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks, and “To Althea from Prison”, written in the seventeenth century by Richard Lovelace, wowed the audience and won her the $300 first prize. Annelyse Gelman, a senior at Miramonte High in Orinda as the runner-up received $200. Third place and $100 went to Savannah Ridgley, is a freshman at Mt. Diablo High in Concord.

After seeing this on http://www.ac5.org/ last night, I dreamed I was in the center of a room of high school students. They were teaching me how to perform their poetry. I just wasn’t “getting it.” But I was enthralled with their rhythms, their creativity, and their energy!

Exercise: Read poetry today to inspire the poet in you. Choose your favorite poem and read it aloud until you feel the rhythm of the poem. Let the rhythm work its way into your own writing today.

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