Unalaska’s annual Poetry Out Loud competition took place Tuesday at 6pm in the high school auditorium. Poetry Out Loud is a nation-wide competition in which students pick a poem, memorize it, and recite it in front of judges and an audience. The competition is based on a student’s thorough and accurate memorization of the poem and their personalized and dynamic recitation.
At the competition, a total of sixteen high school students took the stage and recited their selections. After each recitation, the judges were given several minutes to score the performance. The judges this year were Karen Kresh, Suzi Golodoff and Bob Cummings. Additional help from the community included accuracy judge Carlos Tayag, prompter Mary Heimes and Emma Carr who helped tabulate the results.
Kiara Haist took first place reciting "What Women Are Made Of." This is Haist's second year winning first place at the Unalaska competition. She also took third place honors in 2015.
LeeAnn Mears took second place reciting "Quite Frankly" and Kathryn Difuntorum took third reciting "Tarantulas on the Life Buoy." Master of Ceremonies and also Poetry Out Loud participant, Ethan Iszler was chosen as an honorable mention.
Amy Purevsuren coordinated the event this year and was pleased with the recitations.
"I am extremely proud of all the participants because they worked so hard to breathe life into their poems,” Purevsuren said. “They were not only courageous, but learned so much by intentionally stepping outside of their comfort zones."
A video of Haist's performance from Tuesday will be sent to a regional competition in order to qualify for state and can also be viewed by clicking the link below. You can watch the 2018 Poetry Out Loud in it's entirety on Channel 8 TV on Wednesday (12.5.18), Friday (12.7.18) and Saturday (12.8.18) at 8pm and 10pm.
Great job to all participants and good luck to Kiara!