Senior Victoria King wins second POL school-wide competition

The competition had five competitive candidates to represent RV in regionals


Photo courtesy of Ms. Filauro

King performing at POL last month

Shreya Darji, Arts & Culture Writer

RV held their 5th annual school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition on December 15, highlighting the wondrous art form and the unique way that poetry can get across issues and stories. 

Senior Victoria King continued her reign as POL champion with her performance. King will now go on to compete at the regional performance, and will hopefully move onto states from there.

Five talented RV students competed in two rounds of the competition, and all competitors were graded on overall performance and accuracy. All students who competed in this year’s competition had put in effort and made so many improvements.

“These guys have worked so hard and they’ve come so far,” said Poetry Out Loud adviser Ms. Filauro. “They’ve each picked poems that are so different and unique to them and really made it their own.”

Maggie Blackburn, a junior at RV, performed first with “Cartoon Physics part 1” by Nick Flynn and “The world is about to end and my grandparents are in love” by Kara Jackson. Maggie’s performance of “Cartoon Physics part 1” resonated with many audience members because of the emotions she was able to express in her tone, while also having great accuracy. 

Melody Glover, a junior student at RV, performed “Across the bay” by Donald Davie and “Dead men walking” by Willam Logan.

“My first poem ‘Across the bay’ feels, to me, like a campfire story,” said Glover of her selection. “It’s like you’re talking about a haunted story, about a really creepy pond or ocean, and it’s mysterious. With my second poem ‘Dead men walking,’ I thought in a religious sense. Like the dead rising up, trying to figure out who killed them, or trying to go into heaven but getting sent into hell.”

The eerie mood throughout both of her poems were clearly depicted through her performance and made them very captivating. 

Paris Ford, a sophomore at RV,  performed “Ars Poetica” by José Olivarez and “This is not a small voice” by Sonia Sanchez. Paris’s performance of “This is not a small voice” was astonishing because of their continued use of volume and hand gestures that made the whole performance entertaining. 

Keira Sohosky, a junior at RV,  performed “Silence” by Thomas Hood and “I am offering this poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Keira’s performance of “I am offering this poem”  was outstanding because of her accuracy and pacing. 

King performed “I look at the world” by Langston Hughes and “Respectability” by Tina Boyer Brown.

Courtesy of Ms. Filauro

“Both of my poems are pretty much about social justice,” said King, who also won last year’s POL competition. “‘Respectability’ talks about police brutality and I think it’s a heavy poem that I really like. ‘I look at the world’ is about awakening and just realizing injustice, but also realizing that even with this, I am still capable of a lot.”

Victoria’s performance was stunning because of the emotions that she harnessed throughout her performance along with her accuracy.

Poetry is not just words on a page, it’s a way of expression. “It’s one of the ways that people express themselves in this art form that is so versatile between language, and tone, and sound. And it’s just another avenue for people as part of the human experience to express themselves,” said Ms. Filauro.

This year, each contestant had performed unique poems that all highlighted a variety of unique topics and it was a great way to learn more about this extraordinarily effective and remarkable art form through five students here at RV.