Fuchs wins award at Poetry Out Loud

Sanjana Tarigoppula, Activities Editor

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide competition that encourages students to gain insight in poetry and perform pieces through memorization. It gives students the opportunity to excel in public speaking, build up confidence, and better understand the history of literature.

Contestants start at the classroom level, move up to schoolwide competition, then to regionals or state. If a contestant wins at the state level, they have the opportunity to advance to nationals. Brookfield Central student Abby Fuchs (‘19) made it to the state level and ultimately achieved third place. This is her second time participating in the event, making her a very experienced competitor.

Fuchs first became interested in poetry through one of Ms. Schiro’s assignments which required her to memorize a few poems (much like the competition). Enjoying this, she signed up for the contest just for fun.

When it came to preparing for Poetry Out Loud, she went through a lengthy process—“I started memorizing my poems in late October, and practiced taking the poem and understanding its meaning … I performed two poems in the school competition, two in regionals, and three in state.”

While it seems like getting up to perform emotional pieces in front of people is nerve-wracking, Fuchs doesn’t feel the same way: “It wasn’t really scary at all because it wasn’t a big stage—for state it was a classroom, and for regionals it was a small room at the Sharon Lynne Center. Everyone was really good and it just felt like we were all there to celebrate poetry rather than compete.”

She continues to say that her mentor throughout all of this was Ms. Schiro, teacher of public speaking and head of the drama department. “[Ms. Schiro] helped coach me and she helped me understand the meaning behind poetry, which was the biggest challenge. She would suggest different techniques to enhance my work as well.”

Fuchs has gone to state in all of the years of her participation, and she plans on competing in Poetry Out Loud next year as well.