Across every grade level, students had to present poems that had a minimum of 10 lines. Students were encouraged to pick poems to present that were emotionally significant to them. ((Photo Credit: Maddy Hines/AchonaOnline))
Across every grade level, students had to present poems that had a minimum of 10 lines. Students were encouraged to pick poems to present that were emotionally significant to them.

(Photo Credit: Maddy Hines/AchonaOnline)

English Department transforms poetry out loud

January 20, 2023

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is an annual national competition. The Academy has long been a participant. Our competition begins in the classroom, where students choose a poem, memorize it, and present it to their classmates. Each classroom winner will advance to the next round to determine one winner per grade level. Finally, the grade level winners will compete in front of all AHN high schoolers at the end of the month.  The winner from the high school competition then has the opportunity to go to states, where that student will then present in front of a crowd from all over Florida. The State winners will finally advance to the national competition, held every year in the spring. 

POL is a common stressor among Academy students due to its combination of public speaking and the memorization of poems that can be complex and hard to remember exactly.

English teacher Angela Leavens is very understanding of the stress that girls go through having to memorize their poem. Leavens said, “This year we tried to make Poetry Out Loud a little more enjoyable for the students so we let the girls bring in food so that they could reward themselves for their hard work.” 

Girls brought a variety of foods such as donuts, cookies, and chicken minis. This poetry-cafe style allowed the students to eat good food, while enjoying their classmates’ presentations on their poetry. 

“Bringing food was good idea this year, it made us all very happy,” said Amelia Prieto (Photo Credit: Olivia Book/Used with Permission)

It is very rewarding for the girls because they spend days, and hours trying to memorize their poem. Senior Anita Buchanan said, “I love poetry, I often spend my free time writing poems. To memorize them I will make flashcards, and just say it in my head over and over again.” Buchanan will be part of a student group to recite an original poem aloud in front of all the high schoolers at the POL assembly to determine our AHN winner, held on January 31st. 

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