With the aid of teachers Amy Purevsuren and Shawna Rudio, the UCSD hosted the annual Poetry Out Loud competition on Monday, December 5th in the high school auditorium. There were 43 participants this year.
Established by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, this years competition was emceed by Mia Magalong. Magalong introduced the competition by summarizing the events overall purpose.
“Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life,” Magalong said.
Student Amber Le acted as the prompter when performers needed assistance recalling lines to the poems, and John Garduque played musical interludes on guitar in between performances.
The winners were judged by selected members of the community and announced at a pep rally at the high school on Thursday. In first place was Alyssa Tungul reciting a poem called “Bleeding Heart,” by Carmen Smith. In second place was Mariana Morales, in third place was Ariel Go, in fourth place was Mary Pound and in fifth place was CJ Trinidad.
The videos of the top performers will be sent to the regional office and the winner of regionals will be sent to Juenau for the state competition. One performer from that competition will be selected as the Alaskan representative at the national competition in Washington DC in 2017.
Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state.
A short video of Alyssa’s performance can be found below, and to view the entire Poetry Out Loud competition, watch Unalaska This Week followed by Flash! Unalaska on Friday December 9th at 8pm and 10pm or watch Saturday at 10pm.