Local high school poets complete competition


Mammoth’s Kate Wilson wins; Taylor Sanders second

There might not have been a lot of reason to it, but there sure was a lot of rhyme when eight competitors in the Mono County “Poetry Out Loud” contest took to the Edison Theatre stage on Jan. 5.

The students, representing Coleville, Lee Vining, and Mammoth high schools, presented two poems each.

According to the rules, they memorized the poems from the selection of published poems eligible for this year’s contest.

Judges named Kate Wilson the winner and Taylor Sanders as the runner-up. Taylor therefore must be ready to step in if Wilson cannot attend the finals in Sacramento on March 24and 25.

The judges were Jo Bacon, Malcolm Clark, Stacy Corless, Noelle Deinken, and Bartshe Miller. The accuracy judge was Blair Lee and the tabulator was Tabby Mannetter.

The 2013 Poetry Out Loud National Finals are April 28-30 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Competing in Mono County in addition to Wilson and Taylor, were Evelyn Bath, Josh Disbro, and Lance Warner of Coleville; Berlin Del Aguila from Lee Vining; and Meritzel Herrera and Tatum Sandvigen of Mammoth Lakes.  

Disbro and Herrera competed last year, too, but it was the first time for the other six students, whose grade levels ranged from freshman to senior. 

The teachers who worked with the students were Ms. Taylor at Lee Vining High School, Mr. Johnson at Coleville High School, and Ms. Olinka at Mammoth High School.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support the event, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating.