For many of the Victoria Park students, Thursday March 1, 2012was nothing more than an ordinary school day. However, this certainly was not the case for the participants of the Poetry in Voice Competition. For these students, this was the day upon which weeks and weeks of practicing and memorizing would ultimately pay off; it was the day of the finals of the poetry contest.

The competition was held after school in the cafeteria, where approximately five finalists and two judges gathered to share their passions for poetic recitation. Participants were expected to memorize and present two poems (either in French or English) that were available from an online list.

Prior to the event, students were given several opportunities to prepare. Sessions were held after school in Room 105 and Ms. Waybrant and Ms. Parrish (the staff supervisors of the competition) offered a variety of recitation tips to the eager applicants.

“We gave students opportunities to be coached, and three rehearsal times were available leading up to the competition. Teachers also increased the amount of recitation opportunities in English classes by assigning poetry-based presentations,” says Ms. Parrish, who has had a passion for poetry since the seventh grade. She says that it was a poetic verse by William Woodsworth that first spoke to her.

“I feel that we had very passionate, intelligent and insightful performances. I was introduced to new poems, and it’s exciting to have a student introduce a new poem to me and show me something I hadn’t seen before,” she said.

Whether it is engaging in a passion, improving on presentation skills, or becoming more comfortable with an audience, each of the participants has benefited from this event one way or another. They have all done well. Although, there was one outstanding performance that particularly deserves special recognition. Congratulations to Aimee Wu, the winner of Victoria Park’s Poetry in Voice Competition. She will move on to compete in the Provincial Contest, to be held onApril 16, 2012.

The Poetry in Voice event offered students the opportunity to enhance presentation and communication skills and to celebrate their love and passion for verse. Plenty of training opportunities were available to help participants prepare, and in the end all the hard work and dedication paid off. Each of the partakers gained from this experience and they will continue to embrace their love for poetry in next year’s competition.