Poetry Out Loud At Holyoke High

For the third year in a row, Holyoke High hosts its own Poetry Out Loud competition.


All the Poetry Out Loud competitors (Nikki Lussier, Gabriel Camacho, Greg Gomez, Mishie Serrano, Sarah Healy) and organizer Angela Sweeney. Not pictured: Maeliz Colon.

January 25 marked Holyoke High’s 4th annual Poetry Out Loud schoolwide contest. Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition that uses a pyramid structure with small classroom competitions eventually building up to a nationwide competition.

Six students from tenth to twelfth grade recited two poems in the band room for a panel of volunteer judges. In competition order:

Maeliz Colon ’16 recited “Envy” by Mary Lamb and “The Pulley” by George Herbert

Nikki Lussier ‘17 recited “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo and “Sweetness” by Stephen Dunn

Gabriel Camacho ’18 recited “All Hallows’ Eve” by Dorothea Tanning and “Snowflake” by William Baer

Greg Gomez ’18 recited “Barber” by Larry Bradley and “America” by Claud McKay

Mishie Serrano ‘18 recited “The Paradox” by Paul Laurence Dunnbar and “Love Song” by Dorothy Parker

Sarah Healy ‘17 recited “Burning the Old Year” by Naomi Shihab Nye and “The Consent” by Howard Nemerov

Eileen Maginnis, one of the volunteer judges, when asked why she agreed to judge the competition, said, “It’s a great way for kids to use their voices in more ways than one.” She also thinks it’s an amazing opportunity for kids to get involved with something that is meaningful and gives them confidence.

After two rounds of riveting poetry recitation and special music appearances by a few members of Holyoke High’s band, The Herald’s own Nicole Lussier won the competition. Ms. Sweeney, the organizer of Holyoke High’s Poetry Out Loud, is very proud of all the participants, saying, “They all have a special place in my heart for coming on a Monday night to nerd out.” Sweeney feels they all did a wonderful job and hopes next year will continue to be just as successful.

Catch Nicole Lussier on the next step pf her journey at the semi-final competition on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6, location and times to be announced.