Grace Knor wins Poetry Out Loud competition for the state of Maryland!


Out Loud is an annual national competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation (which publishes Poetry Magazine). Participating schools across the nation begin by hosting a competition at the school itself. The winners of the school competitions then go on to regional competitions and, if they clear that, they head on to state level competition. The ultimate challenge is to make it to the national competition in Washington D.C.


Last week Tuscarora’s own Grace Knor competed at the state level and won! We caught up with Grace to ask her a few questions about this unique competition. We asked how she became involved and she explained that her teachers did a good job of advertising the program so she sought out Ms. Kowalski to sign up. She explained that she really just thought it would be interesting and that she has a love for poetry, she didn’t honestly sign up anticipating becoming a state champion?!?


For the Poetry Out Loud competitions, students have to select a poem from a pre-approved list of hundreds of poems. Grace, so far, has read “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, Refusing Silence by Tess Gallagher, and The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. She explained that she and her father work together to read and analyze the text and to try to establish points of emphasis and movement on the stage. She also has to memorize the poem since students are not allowed to work from notes or read from cards. Then she refines her performance until she feels ready to get up in front of the crowd.


For the state championship, Grace won both the title as well as the prize money of $1,500.00 The next step is to prepare herself for the challenge of national competition in mid-April where she will go up against the best of the best from all 50 states. The winner of the national competition not only gets bragging rights, but also a check for $25,000.00!!!


We’d like to congratulate Grace on her victory and we wish her all the best as she prepares to compete for a national title.