GMHS’s Poetry Out Loud winner heads to statewide finals

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On Jan. 10, Granby Memorial High School held the schoolwide finals of Poetry Out Loud, with nine finalists competing. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Starting in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to include over 3 million students from 10,000 different schools in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This year is Granby’s second year participating in the program.

The participants in the schoolwide finals competed in two rounds of poetry recitation, evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Granby hosted a distinguished panel of judges to score the reciters, including Laura Mazza-Dixon, Granby resident and poet, Rosemary Walcott, former GMHS English teacher, and Reverend Dennis Moon, published hymn writer and lyricist.

All of the finalists delivered fantastic recitations, demonstrating their long preparation for the competition. However, it was Autumn Munsell, a sophomore, who knocked the socks off the judges. In the first round of competition, she performed A Song in the Front Yard by Gwendolyn Brooks, and in the second round, she recited Revenge by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Munsell drew on her experience with the GMHS Drama Club and general aptitude for the performing arts, delivering a powerful performance.

Munsell was excited by her win and expressed her appreciation for the arts, stating “I love poetry because I find that it is so complicated yet so simple at the same time”. Additionally, she would like to thank all the faculty who lent their time and effort to make this possible, saying “I appreciate all the English teachers and their work with Poetry Out Loud.” Munsell will now be moving on to compete in the Connection State-Wide Finals  March 3. Faculty and students at Granby Memorial High School congratulate her on her win and wish her luck in the competition ahead.