Poetry Out Loud is a nation-wide recitation contest in which people all around the country compete in. The competition is based off of recitation, performance, presence, volume, and understanding of the poem chosen by a student off of poetryoutloud.org
POL has become a huge part of Malden High School’s English department. It first started in 2006, merely with English teachers who chose to fit it into their curriculum. It wasn’t until seven years ago where it became a school-wide requirement across all high school grade levels. The decision to make POL a school-wide requirement was to help increase focus on poetry and recitation. POL is one of MHS’s biggest competitions in the school year, and it can often get intense and entertaining. The winner(s) of POL later go to regionals, and, if successful, a statewide competition, before finally entering the nationals.
POL first starts off as a competition in one's English class, with the competition between classmates. The winner of each class later moves to the more narrow competition, which is between all the winners from the same class period. The two winners of each period come to a total of 14, who enter the semi-finals in front of the entire school.
The semi-finals are divided into two days, and take place on Jan. 6, 2016 and Jan. 7, 2016. On Jan. 6th, periods five, six, seven, two, and three will be competing. On Jan. 7, 2016, periods four and one will be competing. The semi-finals later lead into the finals which take place on Jan. 28, 2016.
MHS lead English teacher Sean Walsh notes that over the years, unfortunately, there hasn’t been a student from MHS who has made it into Nationals, but Malden has been very successful within the region. Walsh also stated that the winners vary each year, and that “it really is wide open”, although they have “never had a sophomore win”. He also adds that they have had “students from AP classes and CP classes win as well”, the winners of POL always vary. Walsh also stated that “teachers are gravitating towards more poems”, and are “also trying to think a lot about making the classroom experience something that will be exciting and involving [for students]”.