Susan Betten wins Poetry Out Loud regional competition

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.

  Hello! I’m Harleigh Wiesenbach and this is my second year as features editor on the Montour Monitor. My sophomore year I worked on the centerspread each month as the centerspread editor, so I’m no stranger to the newspaper staff. Unfortunately, this is my senior year, but I plan on making it amazing by working hard on our issues each month and making as many new ideas get put into action as possible! So keep an eye out for all of our work; we really work hard each month to make sure we produce great daily articles and amazing monthly issues on our website.

  Not only am I involved with my school’s newspaper, I’m also a member of Poetry Club, Lost Arts Club, Girl Up, GSA, and Stand Together as well as play trumpet in marching band. Based on that, I’m sure that you can figure out that I’m a huge fan of poetry, although I love to read books as well. My favorite genre is modern fantasy but I’ll read just about anything. My favorite series is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Other than reading, I also love to knit, draw, and write in my free time.

  Another passion of mine is mental health. I want to be a type of psychologist/therapist once I graduate, although I’m not 100% sure what type as of yet. I love helping others, especially when it comes to cheering them up and talking about their issues.

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