Junior Amanda Braig placed third in the Ohio state finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that sponsors a dynamic recitation competition for high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence while learning more about classic and contemporary poetry.
As the school-wide winner, Amanda represented McNicholas at the regional semi-finals, then went on to compete in the state finals. The state championship was held in Columbus at The Ohio State University.
“Amanda was a clear standout at the State competition; her poise, confidence, and clear articulation were outstanding!” Poetry Out Loud coach and English teacher Mrs. Laura Rupp said.
Amanda memorized, recited, and brought three poems to life on stage at the state competition. She chose “Monstrance Man” by Ricardo Pau-Llosa, “Fairy Tale with Laryngitis and Resignation Letter” by Jehanne Dubrow, and “Brother, I’ve seen some” by Kabir.
“She chose poems that each had a clearly different tone and message. In doing so, she highlighted the versatility in her recitation skills and her mastery of the complex language and nuanced meaning that poets use in the creation of their art,” Mrs. Rupp said.
Her experience with Poetry Out Loud is one that Amanda will carry with her for a long time. She called it “life-changing,” noting that everything from working with the Poetry Out Loud staff to meeting the other students involved was positive and impactful. “I was amazed by the diversity of talents that all the students I met possessed. They inspired me to expand my own interests outside of my bubble and have even motivated me to write poetry of my own,” Amanda said.
Amanda said she was “uplifted” by the support of the McNicholas faculty who traveled to see her perform in the district and state competitions. Mrs. Rupp said, “Now that she knows what a State competition is all about, I would not be surprised to see Amanda back in Columbus again next year as a senior and I really like her chances of winning it all!”
McNicholas began competing in the Poetry Out Loud competition 2019. Jakob Tucker ’21 placed second in the state competition in 2021, making Amanda the second McNicholas student to place in the state competition.