MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA – After winning the Mendocino County Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition last month, Developing Virtue Girls School sophomore Amy Liu represented Mendocino County at the state-level competition last week.
Blake More, Mendocino County POL Coordinator and poetry teacher said, “The Mendocino County Office of Education has been co-sponsoring this competition for nine years, and when the pandemic forced us onto a virtual platform, I was concerned we wouldn’t get as many participants. In fact, the opposite happened. We had more participants than ever, and the quality of competition was excellent.” Amy Liu took first place and the runner-up was ninth-grader Sidney Regelbrugge from Point Arena High School. Kadance Nelson of Pacific Community Charter High School and Heidi Blythe of Developing Virtue Girls School tied for third place.
More described Liu as kind, conscientious, respectful, and deeply committed to learning. “She is a talented poet and presenter who takes the extra time required to produce her best work,” More said. More also spoke highly of Regelbrugge, saying she was a “brilliant writer.” Competitors presented three poems. Liu presented mulberry fields by Lucille Clifton, Oh Could I Raise the Darken’d Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Let It Be Forgotten by Sara Teasdale.
Liu said, “The arts allow me to set aside negativity and enjoy the experience of creating something true to myself. Poetry Out Loud gives me the perfect opportunity to bring this joy to others.”
The local 2021 Poetry Out Loud event was sponsored by the Mendocino County Office of Education, Arts Council of Mendocino County, California Poets in the Schools, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment of the Arts. This year’s state competition marked the sixteenth statewide production.
California’s Poetry Out Loud program is designed to encourage high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The program is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. and has grown steadily since its inception in 2005. This year’s competition series encompassed 47 counties, 208 schools, and 416 teachers, reaching more than 10,000 students statewide. Event details and a list of winners for the 2021 California Poetry Out Loud state finals can be found at www.capoetryoutloud.org.
View student submissions to county and state competitions below.
Mulberry Fields: https://youtu.be/TJMsC4QttDo
Oh Could I Raise the Darken’d Veil: https://youtu.be/OmXZSLUKcic
Let It Be Forgotten: https://youtu.be/fYEpW01nXuw
Drowning Not Waving, by Stevie Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsltM57LK1Y
The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: https://youtu.be/UUHvcdJ6OWQ