Forest Hills Central Senior Wins State Poetry Championship

PoetrySchoolsRobert Browning

Lauren Treiber of Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids won the 2010 Poetry Out Loud state championship hosted Saturday by the Michigan Humanities Council.

Treiber bested 22 other contestants from across Michigan to win the title. She is currently a senior at Forest Hills Central and lives in Grand Rapids. She will receive a $200 cash award and an all-expenses paid trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C., from April 25 to 27 plus a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

Kelly Stec, a junior at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, was named the runner-up in the competition. She will receive $100 along with $200 for the Roosevelt High School library.

The competition was held at the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing. Each student recited two poems; the top four students competed in a final, championship round. The students competing in the championship round recited a third poem. Each student's performance was judged on six categories: Physical Presence; Voice and Articulation; Appropriateness of Dramatization; Level of Difficulty; Evidence of Understanding; and, Overall Performance.

The poems recited by Treiber were "A Locked House" by W.D. Sondgrass, "Life in a Love" by Robert Browning and "Mortal Sorrows" by Rodney Jones.

Treiber advanced to the championship round as a junior last year for Forest Hills Central High School. In 2008, Charles White, also from Forest Hills Central High School, was named Michigan's Poetry Out Loud champion.

The Poetry Out Loud program, a Michigan Humanities Council partnership program with the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Library of Michigan and the Michigan Youth Arts Association, encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In 2010 – its fifth year – Michigan's Poetry Out Loud included participation from 24 schools and more than 4,500 students involved. Since October, Language Arts/English teachers have prepared students to compete at the school level and advance to the state finals. Each school champion advanced to the state competition held earlier today. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

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