TA News

TA Hosts 15th Annual Poetry Out Loud Contest, Mary Bosco ’24 Earns VT Semifinals Spot

Thetford Academy hosted its 15th annual Poetry Out Loud recitation contest in the Martha Jane Rich Theater on Monday, with performances from 14 talented TA students – the largest group of participants yet! Poetry Out Loud, “a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry” has become a TA tradition, and is a staple of the school’s English 10 curriculum. The contest not only exposes students to great poetry, but also helps them master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

This year’s contestants, Sora Bolles ’26, Mary Bosco ’24, Grace Brown ’26, Hanae Debo ’25, Mavis Downey ’26, Natalie Lewis ’25, Daniel Mann ’26,  Elijah Renner ’26, Maddy Richardson ’26, Grace Solsaa ’24, Ramona Spelman ’25, Lola Squire ’27, and Twyla Weinstein ’26 (as well as Natalie Perry ’26, who opened the event with a poem for calibration) selected, memorized, and performed their poems for a team of community judges. For seniors Grace and Mary, it was their last Poetry Out Loud event at TA – Grace’s third recitation and Mary’s fourth.

The judges – poet Ina Anderson, alumna and Upper Valley actor and director Kay Morton, and poet and editor Jim Schley – evaluated the students’ performances on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. English 10 teacher Emily Silver, who organized the event with fellow English teacher Joe Deffner, found that this year’s audience “was particularly enthusiastic and supportive. When Mr. Deffner announced each reciter, inviting them to the stage, and also when each reciter finished, the audience cheered wildly like it was a sporting event, Go Maddy! You got this!! Awesome! Way to go!

Mary Bosco’s recitation of Tonight I Can Almost Hear the Singing, by Silvia Curbelo, earned her first place and a trip Barre Opera House next month to compete in the state semifinal competition, and then – hopefully – to the state finals at the Flynn Center in Burlington in March. Sophomore Twyla Weinstein was the runner up with her captivating performance of Planetarium, by Adrienne Rich. Congratulations to all of our Poetry Out Loud participants for their outstanding performances, and good luck to Mary Bosco in Barre!



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