Groton, Mass., January 9–In a tight competition against the 20 strongest reciters at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, Jordan Sweenie earned the highest scores for her recitations of “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert and “Grief” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She will go on to represent GD in the regional semifinals on Saturday, March 4, in Framingham.
In second place was senior David Heffernan, with his poems “Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg” by Richard Hugo amd “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud, and, in third place, was junior Juliana Lazaris with “I Remember, I Remember” by Thomas Hood and “Love Armed” by Aphra Behn.
All 20 students at this level of competition had the highest score among GD’s 815 students, and Sweenie, Heffernan, and Lazaris stuod out at the best among the best.
More than 20,000 Massachusetts students participate in Poetry Out Loud, with 70 schools represented in the semifinals. Nationally, more than 365,000 students participate. State champions receive $200 and a free trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals and an opportunity to win the $20,000 grand prize scholarship.
PHOTO: English teacher Ian Wilkins crowns Jordan Sweenie the Poetry Out Loud champ of the schools. Standing on either side of Sweenie are Juliana Lazaris, who came in third, and David Heffernan, who came in second. (PHOTO: Sarah Burk)