Susan Betten comes back from the Poetry Out Loud State Competition

Harleigh Wiesenbach

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Features Editor

  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.


  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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