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Students Raise Their Voices for Poetry!

Poetry Out Loud is a club at PV led by our own Mr. Hill and Mrs. Kauffman. They´re both English teachers who dedicate their time to teach students about the world of poetry, literary history, and contemporary life. They both receive high praise from their students, being described as intuitive and caring. Poetry out Loud is not just the name of the club, it’s a national program founded in 2005 that has chapters in thousands of schools. There are city, county, state, and national competitions. These contests are nicknamed “Poetry Slams”, and they are judged on their recitation and performance. California’s contest is held every year in Sacramento, then those winners will get a chance to enter the national competition in Washington, D.C.


Mr. Hill was inspired to create this club because he believes it’s a chance for students to have “ a really deep emotional connection”, and “showcase those emotions, through their voice.” The Members were told to select two to three poems of their choice from, and then were coached by Mr. Hill and Mrs. Kauffman on memorizing and reciting those poems for an audience. Mrs. Kauffman described the learning process as “one chunk at a time”,  as well as “frequent practice and rehearsing.”  Early this November, the competition was held in the library, judged by Hill and Kauffman. After each member recited their three poems of choice, the judges decided the two winners. Congrats to the selected winners! They were Alexis Oliver and Kayla Tyson, who then went to the county competition which had roughly 9-10 competitors this year.


    Alexis Oliver is a junior at PV who has a passion for reading and writing poetry. She heard about the club, and soon invested herself in it. She recited I heard a fly buzz when I died By Emily Dickinson, and War Widow by Chris Abani at the school and county contests. Alexis highly recommends joining the club, stating that it was “Really fun, and even though I didn’t win, and didn’t make it to state, I still really loved the experience, and loved making friends”.


Our second winner was Kayla Tyson, who chose The Days Gone By by James Whitcomb Riley, and Acquainted With The Night by Robert Frost as her two poems.     She describes the competition’s atmosphere as “warm and welcoming”, stating that it was “bringing together people and students who all have a common connection- the love of the art of poetry, reading, reciting, and writing it.” The competition itself was held at the Butte County Office of Education in Oroville, which seemingly was a relaxed space and even had a guitar player play music as the judges scored. Kayla also highly recommends this club to anyone with particular interest in public speaking, poetry, and the English subject.


Even though neither of the competitors went to state, we are all extremely proud of them for entering and showing off their talent and dedication!

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About the Contributor
Lyla Kinney
Lyla Kinney, Editor
Lyla Kinney is an incoming freshman this year, and a new addition to the PV Newspaper. Lyla loves journalism, especially when she gets to speak her mind. She is a hard worker, and you can often find her helping her classmates. Although math is her mortal enemy, she will never turn down an opportunity to learn a new skill. One of Lyla's biggest goals is to attend USC, but for now she is just aiming for good grades. She is excited to join SAGA and become an asset to the club!

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