Freshman participates in Poetry Out Loud


Lindsey Saba, News Editor

Students came from Marquette, Petoskey, Detroit, and many more in order to compete in Poetry Out Loud. One participant in this event, however, arrived in Lansing on Mar. 13 from the halls of the Howell High School Freshman Campus. Her name? Anna Stocker.

“My teacher [Mrs. Janiga] first had it as an assignment, then it became a competition,” Stocker says of how she became involved.

According to the Poetry Out Loud website, POL is “a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.”

“[This] was my first time doing anything with poetry,” Stocker says, “and I was extremely nervous the first round, but less the second.”

Each round of the Poetry Out Loud competition that Stocker participated in required that a different poem was performed, but only poems listed on the Poetry Out Loud website are eligible to be used during the contest.

“For the first round, I performed “On Monsieur’s Departure”, by Queen Elizabeth the First. The second round, I performed “[if mama / could see]” by Lucille Clifton,” Stocker says.

On her choice of poems, Stocker says that she liked the language of “On Monsieur’s Departure,” and that “[if mama / could see]” was very unique.

“I tried hard, I really wanted to win,” Stocker says of her successful advancement to the state finals in Lansing.

As of late, Stocker has been talking to Mr. Jason Kane about the coming year, as she wants a school-wide competition for students to advance to the Poetry Out Loud finals, rather than only the Freshman Campus taking part. Still, whatever happens in the years ahead, Stocker is determined to return to POL.

“I’m definitely going back next year,” Stocker says.