The 2021 Poetry Out Loud competition at St. Sebastian's looked different from years past, but many Warrior Poets were undaunted in their pursuit of glory. A field of 23 competitors joined a Zoom call on Tuesday, February 2nd and Wednesday, February 3rd to deliver recitations of their chosen poems. Judges Jeff Riemann, Erin O'Luanaigh, Greg Calabro and Dean Adams made the difficult decision to narrow the field to five finalists: Alessandro Barbiellini '21, Ben Garrity '23, Daniel Gillis '24, Colin Lapus '21 and Max Samulka '21.
The finalists delivered powerful recitations in person on February 4th. Samulka earned the title of school champion with his successful recitation of “Sign for my Father, Who Stressed the Bunt” by David Bottoms. Because the regional competition will be entirely virtual, Max was required to submit video recordings of three recitations. In addition to "Sign for My Father", Max chose to recite "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley and "Sonnet 29" by William Shakespeare. The regional competition will be broadcast on March 7th.
Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Thank you to our faculty judges and to all who helped run this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition.