By Features Editor Harleigh Wiesenbach
Sophomore Susan Betten is the first Montour student to achieve the honor of winning the Poetry Out Loud regional competition that took place on February 3 in Oakland. Betten and the six other contestants were required to memorize and recite three poems and were judged based on voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, physical presence, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Betten recited the poems “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti, “Quite Frankly” by Mark Halliday, and “The Bookshelf of the God of Infinite Space” by Jeffrey Skinner.
Betten will now be moving onto states, which takes place on March 4 and 5 in Harrisburg. There will be 15 other contestants, and only a select few will be chosen to compete in the third round. The winner will move on to the national competition.
“I felt so proud and grateful that my hard work had paid off,” commented Betten. “The Poetry Out Loud representatives were so lovely and kind. And, there was tons of food and refreshments, which was great because the Regional competition was early in the morning.”
Regionals was much like the last competition, the only difference being there were three rounds for reciting the poems, a five minute break in between each, and a 20 minute break before the winner was announced.
Betten prepared for the competition by continually reciting her chosen poems with poetry slam sponsors Mrs. Budda and Mrs. Shaffer. After all that practice, she went into the competition confident and well-prepared. She also feels that she has considerably improved since the last competition.
“The more I feel confident in my memorization, the more I can have fun with emotion and movement and just improve my performance in general,” says Betten.