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POETRY OUT LOUD GETS HIGH SCHOOLERS EXCITED ABOUT VERSE (Boston Globe Magazine)

LATE-BREAKING UPDATE | May 16, 2012

Mississippi’s Kristen Dupard Wins 2012 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

National Endowment for the Arts

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Excerpted from Poetry Out Loud gets high schoolers excited about verse,” by Alison Lobron

Go to the copyrighted original at Boston Globe Magazine, Sunday, May 13, 2012



David S Marshall

Stephanie Igharosa: Massachusetts 2012 finalist for Poetry Out Loud, a National Poetry Recitation Competition

FRAGMENT

In the final round, all six students deliver strong performances, but one in particular has an added oomph: Stephanie Igharosa, of Randolph High School, recites Al Young’s “The Blues Don’t Change,” and as she finishes, she sweeps one arm downward in a gesture of triumph. “Thank you!” she cries into the microphone, as if she knows she’s nailed it.

And she has. Stephanie, a cross-country runner, Model UN enthusiast, and native of Nigeria, is the new Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud champion. As a freshman, she is also a first-time participant in the contest. Like her fellow Randolph resident Wilmene Hercule in 2009, or Michaela Murray last year, she faces none of the pressure of a repeat performance. As the 14-year-old stands onstage, with a crown of leaves on her head, she smiles and blinks back tears.

In Washington, Stephanie will recite the same three poems that she did in the state finals: “Richard Cory,” by Edwin Arlington Robinson, “The Man With the Hoe,” by Edwin Markham, and “The Blues Don’t Change,” by Al Young. Her favorite is the Markham poem. “It was the one I really had to try to understand,” she says. “It was the most challenging to memorize.”

“I love challenges,” she adds.

© 2012 Boston Globe and Alison Lobron

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Related posts

Ashly Brun performs Al Young’s “The Blues Don’t Change” at the Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud state finals (March 28, 2012)

Sophomore (Lily Hargis at Richmond, VA’s Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies) wins Poetry Out Loud contest (February 20, 2012)

Saul Williams reads Al Young’s “The Blues Don’t Change” at PoemsEveryDay (February 24, 2010)

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