WALLENAPAUPACK – A poet and a student from Wallenapupack Area High School, Chyanne Kemp recently competed in, “Poetry Out Loud.” The poetry recitation contest challenges students to memorize and dramatically recite three poems.
    A national competition, Poetry Out Loud starts regionally. Kemp recited, “Abandoned Farmhouse,” by Ted Kooser, “Self-Portrait,” by Chase Twitchell and “Echo,” by Christina Rossetti. Each poem had to be a certain length and be from specific time periods.
    Before moving onto the regional competition, Kemp competed against three other students in the school. A junior at Wallenapapuck, teacher Gene Schultz called Kemp a, “really dynamic student,” who is good a poetry. Each student recited two poems in front of three teacher judges. The teacher judges used the same judging scales as the national judges.
    To qualify for the state standing, Kemp traveled to the WVIA studio February 12th where she performed in two rounds of recitation. Schultz said Kemp was chosen for the top three to recite in the final round. She ended up placing second and the winner from the Feb. 12 competition will go to the state competition and that winner will go onto the national in Washington, D.C.
    Although she wasn't acting, Kemp said she did have to present the appropriate amount of drama with the right voice and emphasis. Aside from reading it, Kemp said she also enjoys writing poetry and reciting it, which she said comes naturally.
    Schultz said even if people don't like poetry, watching the students is amazing because of how hard they work. He added that, “there's a lot of talent.” Teachers: Fred Garm, Linda Fedor, Valerie Packer, Allison Hoffman and Schultz helped Kemp prepare for the contest.
    Last year, Kemp also participated in the contest, but this was her first time as the school representative. She said each year she has gotten better, but having done it before really prepared her.
    One criteria of judging is based on accuracy, where Schultz said the students couldn't skip or stumble with words. The right amount of drama was also needed in the performance to “convey the meaning of the poem to the audience,” he explained.
    The program will air on VWIA on April 7 at 7 p.m. and individual recitations will play on WVIA radio through National Poetry Month, which is April.