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Senior wins POL regionals

Brendan Sheehan l Associate Editor

It was two years ago when senior Alex Hanley was first runner up in the state-level competition for Poetry Out Loud.

After a lull of illness that prevented him from participating in Poetry Out Loud, Hanley will be advancing to states, a virtual competition taking place on March 13.

At this level of Poetry Out Loud, students recite three poems and are evaluated by accuracy, inflection, and memorization. Spearheaded by English teacher Amy Haines, the school-wide qualifying competition was held Jan. 11.

“(Attending regionals) was easy because there are not many schools that participate, and I am very good at what I do,” said Hanley. “It felt good to win and felt like a relief after worrying about it for a while.”

Haines attributes Hanley’s success to his ability to meet the rubric set out by judges.

“Alex gives a strong recitation in all three poems,” said Haines. “His memorization is on point, but, beyond that, he understands the meaning and emotion behind the poems.”

Hanley placed first at the regional competition on Feb. 9 with his renditions of (poem names).

“My key to success with poetry is actually being candid about what I do,” said Hanley. “I don’t just memorize poetry for school, or because my mom wants me to do it, I just really like poetry and that is what is most important.”

Hanley attended the virtual regional competition in a side room in the library with adviser Cody Hassler.

“I learned that focusing and paying attention is important,” said Hanley. “Looking forward to states, I think I should have less distractions in the room with me as I participate.”

According to Hanley, many art schools around the state participate in the state competition- some of which work under the advisory of poetry coaches and review for the competition in their schools’ curricula.

“I want to have fun, but most importantly, I want to win if I can,” said Hanley. “It is going to be tough competing with others who practice this in school every day.”

The national competition is set to take place on May 8-10 in Washington D.C.

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