Elizabeth Holmes, a senior at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, won first place in the school’s fifth annual Poetry Out Loud recitation contest, held Nov. 28 in the school’s Margaret M. Alkek Theater. Runner-up was sophomore Bridget Lynch.
Winners of school contest will compete at the state level Feb. 25, 2017, at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.
The TMI winners were chosen from among eight contestants. Seniors Holmes – winning first place for the third time – and Alexandra Prado, juniors Peter Fera and Mary McCafferty, sophomores Lynch and Maria Jamison and freshmen Amber Magare and Sebastian Martinez-Sotomayor were chosen by their English teachers from classroom competitions in all four Upper School grades.
Students recited from memory one poem in each of two rounds, including the work of a diverse selection of poets including Gwendolyn Brooks, Thom Gunn, Roisin Kelly and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Judges were local poets Bonnie Lyons, Mo Saidi, M.D., and spoken-word artist Andrea Sanderson. Contestants are evaluated on accuracy, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, physical presence, voice and articulation for an overall performance score.
The winner of the Texas state contest will go on to national competition April 24-26, 2017, at George Washington University in Washington D.C. The winner will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.
Poetry Out Loud is a national program that encourages high-school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Founded in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the program has competitions in 2,255 high schools across the country.