Students recite poetry out loud
Sophomore Amanda Martinez wins school championship
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
When sophomore Amanda Martinez took the Poetry Out Loud stage on Tuesday, January 28, to perform “Ode for the American Dead in Asia” by Thomas McGrath, she put the audience in a trance. Martinez, who won the school-wide competition, was one of eighteen individual classroom winners who performed in RB’s main auditorium. While every student winner put forth tremendous performances, Martinez’ act stood out.
“Amanda’s performance moved me,” event organizer and judge Bridget Wilmot said. “I stopped calculating scores just to listen to her. At one point, the auditorium was the stillest I have ever heard it. She captivated the entire audience and received perfect scores from three out of the four judges. I was struck by the complexity of the piece and her maturity in capturing the essence of the poem.”
Martinez’ commanding recitation shocked even her own English teacher, Tom Dignan.
“Amanda has always been a good student – she participates, her writing is good. However, this was a whole different side of Amanda that, quite frankly, I wasn’t expecting at all,” Dignan said.
He indicated that he really did not know the performance was coming when he first saw it in his classroom.
“Amanda was one of the students who never asked for my help with analyzing her poem, so I really didn’t know what she was reciting until she stood up in class. She had us mesmerized from the first word to the last. Her performance was truly remarkable,” Dignan said.
Martinez will now move on to the Poetry Out Loud regional performance, February 18 in Des Plaines. For her teachers, it would come as no surprise if she won there too.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Amanda compete at regionals and represent the talented students of RB,” Wilmot said.
Overall, the competition, which involved eighteen classes over multiple grade levels, was a success.
“After the event, I felt so happy and excited,” Wilmot said. “As always, the students wowed all of us. From the emcee to the judges to the audience, the event was perfect.”
The RB library will be following up the event with a poetry slam/workshop in April during National Poetry Month.
Read “Ode to the American Dead in Asia” by Thomas McGrath
couresty of poetryoutloud.org