The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Jasmine Saini won ninth annual Poetry Out Loud competition

Students read their poems during the 9th annual Poetry Out Loud competition held at BRHS. (Isabel Lu)

The community came together on January 12 to watch Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s ninth annual Poetry Out Loud competition. Twenty-nine students competed to advance to the Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition and represent BRHS.

With a total of two rounds, each competitor read two poems each and showcased a vast array of classic and contemporary poetry. 

After all the competitors performed their poems and the judges deliberated, senior Jasmine Saini won first place and will advance to the regional competition at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown on February 5.

She  placed first by reading “Cartoon Physics: Part I” by Nick Flynn and “Dirge Without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Poetry Out Loud is a competition that works to promote the study and spread of poetry in the modern era. The foundation behind the competition works in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Poetry Out Loud aims to help students build their self-confidence and improve their public speaking skills while learning about history through literature. Since the competition’s inception, Poetry Out Loud has bolstered high school students’ appreciation and education of poetry all over the country. Beyond poetry, the competition also helps students develop skills they can use in and outside of the classroom: building academic stamina, social awareness, empathy and more.  

Over the past several weeks, the competitors worked hard to compete at Friday’s competition. These students first had to win their respective class competitions to participate and from there, they each had to memorize an additional poem in addition to the one they competed with in their English classes.

Students get ready to read their poems to the audience and judges. (Isabel Lu)

Then, they performed their poems for a large audience and four judges. If any of the students forgot their lines while performing their poems, a prompter stood by to offer the competitor their next line at the cost of a 3-point deduction to the student’s score. The ultimate winner advances to the regional competition and has the opportunity to qualify for the state and national competition.

The coordinator of this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition was English teacher Kathleen Doherty. Ms. Doherty teaches AP and academic English at varying grade levels and is involved in various other clubs at the school such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

After the competition, she gave her thoughts and remarked that she was “really amazed at the talent and charisma of the students” as well as “impressed by their unflagging courage to get up in front of such a large audience and perform.”

Ms. Doherty worked over the past few months to make the school competition possible and commented that “it took so many people to make the night possible, and was so grateful that there are such incredible teachers here at BR who were involved.”

If she places in the top two at the regionals in Morristown, she will advance to the State Finals on March 14 at the Count Basie Center of the Arts in Red Bank.


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About the Contributor
Isabel Lu
Isabel Lu, Associate Editor
Isabel Lu is a junior at BRHS and the lead graphic designer for our social media. She has been with The Prowler since her freshman year. Isabel has always enjoyed writing and used to write for the newspaper in elementary and intermediate school. Isabel decided to join the school newspaper because she enjoys learning about new and different things; for example, she watches Vox and NYT videos in her free time. Outside of school, Isabel likes to play tennis, draw, and spend time with friends.
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