Sophomore Susan Betten is the first student to achieve the honor of going to the Poetry Out Loud state competition on March 4 and 5 and, although she didn’t win, proudly represented Montour. The winner of the competition is Brooke C. Halinar from Cornwall-Lebanon School District. The runner-up is Gabriel Ramos from North Pocono School District. The competition took place in the State Museum in Harrisburg on March 5. Betten and the 15 other contestants were judged based on their voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, physical presence, evidence of understanding, and overall performance.
Betten recited the poems “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti and “Quite Frankly” by Mark Halliday. Her third poem was “The Bookshelf of the God of Infinite Space” by Jeffrey Skinner, but she was not able to perform it because only the the top five contestants could perform the third poem in a third round.
The first day was when the contestants got to know each other and work with a spoken word poet as well as eat dinner and go over rules with the teachers and families. On the day of the competition, they were served breakfast and warmed up before they competed in two
Betten feels as though she has improved in her overall stage presence because she is more comfortable on stage as well as enjoys it much more. In fact, her favorite part of the whole competition was performing on stage.
“I was excited to show everyone there what I could do and how hard I had worked!” states Betten.
Her favorite poem performed by someone else was performed by Zoe Prats with the poem “Mrs. Caldera’s House of Things” by Gregory Djanikian. According to Betten, Prats did phenomenal and Betten was even tearing up at the end.
Betten says, “Everyone there was so talented! No one messed up even once. It was incredible.”
The competition will be on television at a later date and time.