Poetry Out Loud, Outdoors

Poetry Out Loud, Outdoors

On Thursday, Feb. 11, eight Thetford Academy students gathered at the timber framed outdoor classroom to recite poetry with a view. The students were competing in Vermont’s Poetry Out Loud contest, hoping to be TA’s representative to the state–and maybe even the national–competition. This year was the twelfth year in a row that TA has hosted a qualifying event, and the first time it was held outdoors, a COVID twist on a TA tradition.

Poetry Out Loud, founded in 2005, is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for U.S. high school students. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

We congratulate all of TA’s Poetry Out Loud participants (Eldon Crossett, Jillian Ziai, Dylan Moody A-Ness, Anne Hesser, Mary Bosco, Madeleine Thaxton, Cecilia Luce, and Eloise Silver Van Meter) for their outstanding performances.

This year’s winner, TA senior Eloise Silver Van Meter recited “The Poem You’ve Been Waiting For,” by Tarfia Faizullah. Runner-up Dylan Moody-A’ness performed “I Am Learning to Abandon the World,” by Linda Pastan. Eloise will represent Thetford Academy in Vermont’s March 15, 2021 virtual statewide event.

Finally, we thank our esteemed judges Ina Anderson, Kay Morton, and Jim Schley, and Abby MacGregor for their time, talent, and generous support of TA students.