Poetry For Teenagers

By Hedgebrook Guest

On March 7th, 2015 at about 2:00 in the afternoon, I made my way up to the stage and took a deep breath. “There Are Birds Here, by Jamaal May” I said, and began. I was performing at the Washington State Poetry Out Loud final competition, as one of the thirteen state finalists from different regions competing for a chance to travel to Washington DC for the national competition. Now in its 10th year as a nationwide program, Poetry Out Loud provides teenagers all over the country the chance to understand and appreciate poetry through recitation. High school students compete at the school, regional and statewide level reciting a wide range of poems. Each of the students participating in the competition puts tremendous work into memorizing their poems, interpreting the meaning behind them and developing their own way of presenting to the audience so that the words of the poet come across to an audience in a way that is true and authentic.   Read more