Bogle wins ‘Poetry Out Loud’ Recitation Contest and Heads to Regionals


Written by Bridget Vasta

English teachers Mrs. Bethany Harar, Mrs. Andrea Elbaum, and Ms. Rachel Novi recently brought ‘Poetry Out Loud,’ a national recitation contest, into their classrooms. The school-wide competition took place in early December, with junior Lauren Bogle winning the competition and heading to regionals in February.

‘Poetry Out Loud’ is a competition where students memorize and recite poetry, with the winner qualifying for the regional championship.

“I’ve done some poetry competitions with my 11th graders in the past, but I never took it to this level. I had heard about Poetry Out Loud, and I wanted to try it,” said sponsor Mrs. Elbaum.

At Woodgrove, each of the 11th grade AP Language and 10th grade honors English classes had a class competition. The winner of each class competed against each other in a school competition on December 11. The winner, Lauren Bogle, will compete at regionals on February 9. The regional competition will take place at the Center for the Arts in Manassas, Virginia.

“My classmates and Mrs. Harar have been so supportive. I’m so grateful for this amazing opportunity. I just hope I can represent Woodgrove positively,” Bogle said.

The competition is judged based on the recitation and the performance of the speaker.

“I speak the words over and over until I reach the point where I can say the poem without thinking. I think about the performance aspect, overall meanings, and the tone of the poem. I’ve found I really like to look at other pieces by the poet to get a feel for their writing style,” says Bogle.

‘Poetry Out Loud’ has positively affected the members of the English Department, and teachers plan on continuing this competition.

“This competition got other teachers excited. When I first mentioned it to my department, they didn’t give me much feedback, but after Mr. Clawson and Mrs. Albert judged the competition, they said they would do it with their students next year, too,” Mrs. Elbaum said.