Poetry Out Loud: 2017 Virginia Finals


>>THIS BROADCAST OF POETRY OUTLOUD IS BROUGHT TO YOU BYCAROLYN AND BILL AND BY THEVIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THEARTS, A STATE AGENCY THATSUPPORTS THE ARTS BYDISTRIBUTING GRANT FUNDING FORNOT-FOR-PROFIT ARTORGANIZATIONS, EDUCATIONALINSTITUTIONS, ARTISTS, AND LOCALGOVERNMENTS.[♪♪♪][♪♪♪][♪♪♪]>>ONE BY ONE, I LISTEN TO THEMOUTH, THE TONGUE INTWININGTHEM, THE FIVE SMOOTH PEBBLES,SPEAK NOW, SPEAK NOW, SAY AGAIN.LET THE TONGUE KNOW ITS PLACE.THIS WILL ACCORDING TO WILLAFFECT THE STAMINA.TONGUE CONQUER WORLD, MEMORY,BABBLED MEMORY IS HERE AS WELL.THE SPEECH CORRECTION TEACHERMRS. ANN, LOOMING BACK TO METHIS MORNING AS MY NEIGHBOR INBLACK SPANDEX, CRANKS HER MOTOWNTO 10, SUNSHINE ON A CLOUDY DAY,SHE LIFTS HER HIGH-TECH BOW ANDARROWS, MEMORY OF THE TONGUEDEPRESSER, AND THE BOROUGHTOWARDS THE TONSILS, AH, AH, AH,GOOD DAVID, GOOD DAVID, GOODDAVID, STEREO IS LOUDER NOW,CLOUD 9 STANDING IN THE SHADOWSOF LOVE, TALK WHEN I SAY YOU CANTALK, BARNYARD DAVID, BARNYARD.RIGHT GRAIL ARE, RANDY RARELYSTOPPED, RANDY, RANDY RANGRARELY, RARELY, THE STALLEDTRAIN OF THE TONGUE, STEAMINGENGINE, ENGINE ON THE RAILROADON THE WINTER TRESTLE STALLED,BUT THEN THE GRIND AND HISS ANDWHISTLING, I AM SPEAKING NOW, IHAVE PERMISSION, HEAT WAVES,BULLSEYE, ALL THE ARROWSBRISTLE, AND SHE NODS TOHERSELF, THE TONGUE SET FREE,THE PEBBLES, SPEAK NOW, SPEAKNOW AGAIN, AGAIN.THANK YOU.[APPLAUSE]>>HOW ABOUT A BIG HAND FORDAVID WOJAHN.[APPLAUSE]DAVID IS A PROFESSOR AT VIRGINIACOMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY AND APUBLISHED POET.THE PIECE HE JUST PERFORMED,“STAMMER” IS AN ORIGINAL WORK.WELCOME TO THE POETRY OUT LOUDSTATE FINALS.THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING.I’M ALEXANDRA WILES, YOUR HOSTFOR TODAY’S EVENT.TODAY’S RECORDING AND BROADCASTOF POETRY OUT LOUD WAS MADEPOSSIBLE BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OFPARTNERS AND SPONSORS WHO WILLBE ACKNOWLEDGED AND RECOGNIZEDLATER IN THE PROGRAM.POETRY OUT LOUD IS A NATIONALRECITATION PROGRAM SPONSORED BYTHE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THEARTS AND THE POETRY FOUNDATION,IMMERSING HIGH SCHOOLS STUDENTSIN THE POWERFUL LANGUAGE OFPOETRY.POETRY OUT LOUD PROVIDESSTUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TOMASTER PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS,BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE, AND LEARNABOUT THEIR LITERARY HERITAGETHROUGH CLASSICAL ANDCONTEMPORARY WORKS OF POETRY.EACH OF TODAY’S TWELVECONTESTANTS STARTED AT THECLASSROOM LEVEL AND COMPETED ATTHE SCHOOL LEVEL TO ADVANCE TOTHE REGIONAL COMPETITION.THE TWO HIGHEST SCORING STUDENTSFROM EACH REGION WERE INVITED TOCOMPETE AT THE STATE LEVEL.THE CHAMPION OF TODAY’S STATE>>THE USUAL THINGS OF COURSE,THE EATING, DREAMING, DRINKING.>>WHO WILL SWIM TO SAFETY ANDWHO WILL BE PULLED UNDER BYSHARKS.THE TOP TWO STUDENTS WILLADVANCE TO THE STATE FINALS.[APPLAUSE]>>HE MADE MY FATHER SEEM LIKEAN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF ASTORMY SEA.HE MADE MY FATHER LOOK LIKE AROCK.AS THE BLUE IS THE MOMENT YOUREALIZE YOU EXIST IN A STACKEDDEATH.THE CHAMPION OF TODAY’S STATEFINAL WILL RECEIVE $200 AND ANALL-EXPENSE PAID TRIP WITH ANADULT CHAPERONE TO WASHINGTON,DC TO COMPETE IN THE NATIONALFINALS ON APRIL 25TH AND 26TH ATTHE LISNER AUDITORIUM ON THECAMPUS OF GEORGE WASHINGTONUNIVERSITY.THE STATE CHAMPION WILL ALSORECEIVE $500 FOR THE PURCHASE OFPOETRY BOOKS FOR HIS/HER SCHOOL.THE FIRST RUNNER-UP WILL RECEIVE$100 AND A $200 STIPEND FORHIS/HER SCHOOL LIBRARY.>>YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR ATYOUR YOUNG FACE, THE FACE MYSISTER CARRIED, AND YOU KNOWTHAT’S THE ONLY LEVERAGE YOUGOT.THIS CREATOR HURTS, THATWHISPERS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TODO IT?>>THERE ARE THREE ROUNDS TOTODAY’S COMPETITION.EACH STUDENT WILL RECITE HIS/HERPOEM IN THE RECITATION ORDER ASTHEY ARE LISTED IN THE PROGRAMFOR THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS.THREE STUDENTS WILL ADVANCE TOROUND THREE AND THE TWO OVERALLHIGHEST SCORING RECITATIONS WILLBE VIRGINIA STATE CHAMPION ANDRUNNER-UP.STUDENTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BYTHE EMCEE AND WILL APPROACH THEMICROPHONE.EACH STUDENT WILL IDENTIFY THEIRPOEM AND AUTHOR BEFORE BEGINNINGTHEIR RECITATION.IF, AT ANY POINT DURING THERECITATION, A STUDENT LOSESHIS/HER PLACE THEY MAY REQUESTASSISTANCE FROM THE PROMPTER BYSIGNALING FOR ASSISTANCE.WE ARE APPRECIATIVE OFTHE EXPERTISE AND DIVERSITY OFOUR JUDGES WITH US HERE TODAY.THREE OF OUR JUDGES WILL ASSESSSTUDENTS ON THEIR PHYSICALPRESENCE, VOICE ANDARTICULATION, DRAMATICAPPROPRIATENESS, LEVEL OFCOMPLEXITY, EVIDENCE OFUNDERSTANDING AND THEIR OVERALLPERFORMANCE.ONE JUDGE SERVES AS ACCURACYJUDGE, IDENTIFYING ANYINCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN THEWRITTEN TEXT AND THE SPOKENWORD.I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE TIMEBRIEFLY TO INTRODUCE ALL OF OURJUDGES TO YOU.PERFORMANCE JUDGES DAVID WOJAHNTEACHES AT VCU AND IS THE AUTHOROF NINE COLLECTIONS OF POETRY,INCLUDING INTERROGATION PALACE;NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (2006),WHICH WAS A NAMED FINALIST FORTHE PULITZER PRIZE, AND WORLDTREE (2011), THE WINNER OF THELENORE MARSHALL PRIZE AND THELIBRARY OF VIRGINIA LITERARYAWARD IN POETRY.HE HAS RECEIVED FELLOWSHIPS FROMTHE GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION, THENATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS,AND THE VIRGINIA COMMISION FORTHE ARTS.DEAN MCKNIGHT IS LOCAL WRITERAND MUSICIAN WHOSE WORK HAS BEENPUBLISHED ACROSS SEVERALMEDIUMS, INCLUDING TWO MUSICALALBUMS, A VCU TEXTBOOK, ONLINEJOURNALS, AND POP CULTUREWEBSITES.HE IS AN ADAMANT BELIEVER IN THETRANSCENDENT AND CONNECTIVEPOWER OF WRITING, BOTH POP ANDLITERARY, AND WORKS DIRECTLYWITH RICHMOND YOUTH AS THECURRICULUM COORDINATOR FOR THEWRITING-AND-COMMUNICATION-DRIVENNONPROFIT, PODIUM RVA.GINA LYLES IS THE PROGRAMCOORDINATOR FOR ART 180’S YOUTHSELF- ADVOCACY THROUGH ARTPROGRAM, KNOWN AS THE PERFORMINGSTATISTICS PROJECT.BASED ON HER OWN LIFEEXPERIENCES, GINA IS ABLE TONAVIGATE AND EMPOWER YOUTHCAUGHT IN THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISONPIPELINE, AND HELPS INCARCERATEDYOUTH USE THEIR CREATIVE VOICESAS A CATALYST TO CHANGE THEJUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM INVIRGINIA.GINA IS A POET, SINGER, HOST,AND RAPPER, KNOWN AS DA PAPERLADY.ALTERNATE JUDGE RICH FOLLETT ISA HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH, THEATRE,AND MYTHOLOGY TEACHER WHO HASBEEN WRITING POEMS AND SONGS FORMORE THAN FORTY YEARS.HIS POEMS HAVE BEEN FEATURED INNUMEROUS ONLINE AND PRINTJOURNALS.THREE VOLUMES OF POETRY AREAVAILABLE THROUGH NEOPOIESISPRESS.HE LIVES WITH HIS WIFE IN THESHENANDOAH VALLEY OF VIRGINIA,WHERE HE ALSO PURSUES HISINTERESTS AS A PROFESSIONALACTOR, SINGER/SONGWRITER,PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR.ACCURACY JUDGE REAGAN MCKENNA ISA MOTHER, STUDENT, EDUCATOR, ANDARTISTIC DIRECTOR OFMINI-SHAKESPEARE, A SUMMERTHEATRE PROGRAM AT ST.JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH INRICHMOND.SHE DEVELOPED CURRICULUM ANDTAUGHT RADIO THEATRE ONLINE FORMOTHER OF DIVINE GRACE AS WELLAS A NASCENT THEATRE PROGRAM ATSETON SCHOOL IN MANASSAS.SHE GRADUATED FROM CHRISTENDOMCOLLEGE WITH A BA IN ENGLISHLITERATURE.>>BEFORE WE BEGIN, A DISCLAIMERABOUT THEPOEMS- SOME OF THE POEMS RECITEDTODAY MAY NOT BE BROADCAST.WE APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FORTHIS.ALL POEMS MUST BE APPROVED ANDRECEIVE BROADCASTING RIGHTSTHROUGH THE NATIONAL POETRYFOUNDATION.WITH THAT – LET’S BEGIN ROUND 1OF OUR POETRY OUT LOUDRECITATIONS.OUR FIRST CONTESTANT IS HATLEYWOOD, PLEASE APPROACH THE STAGE.[APPLAUSE]>>DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THATGOOD NIGHT, DYLAN THOMAS.YOU SHARED WITH US PREVIOUSLYYOU HAD AN INTENSE FASCINATIONWITH WORDS, DO YOU HAVE AFAVORITE WORD YOU WOULD SHAREWITH US?>>OH GOSH.I WROTE A COLLEGE ESSAY ABOUT AWORD.IT’S A SPANISH WORD.I USED TO VOLUNTEER IN MEXICOAND I MADE SO MANY GREAT PEOPLEAND IT’S THE FIRST WORD ILEARNED THERE.NOW THE PEOPLE I STILL STAY INCONTACT WITH IN MEXICO, WE USETHAT WORD, AND IT’S LIKE — IT’SNOT A RUNNING JOKE, WE JUST SAYIT AND IT’S A SPECIAL WORD TOME.>>GREAT, THANK YOU SO MUCH.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS SARAH LAW.[APPLAUSE]>>THE DEATH OF ALLEGORY BYBILLY COLLINS.I AM WONDERING WHAT BECAME OFALL THOSE TALL ABSTRACTIONS THATUSE TO POSE ROGUE PAINTINGS, ANDPARADE ON THE PAGES OF THERENAISSANCE, DISPLAYING THEIRCAPITAL LETTERS LIKE LICENSEPLATES.CHASSIDY EYES DOWNCAST,FLUTTERING WITH VAILS, EACH ONEWAS MARBLES COME TO LIFE, ATHOUGHT IN A COAT, CURTSY,BOWING WITH ONE HAND, ALWAYSEXTENDED.SHARPENING AN INSTRUMENT, ANDCONSTANTLY ALERT BEHIND THEHELM.THEY ARE ALL RETIRED NOW,CONFINED TO A FLORIDA FOR DROPS.JUSTICE IS THERE STANDING BEHINDA REFRIGERATOR, VALOR AND LISTENTO THE RAIN.ALL THEIR PROPS ARE LOCKED AWAYIN A WAREHOUSE, HOURGLASSES,GLOBES, BLINDFOLDS, ANDSHACKLES.EVEN IF YOU CALLED THEM BACK,THERE ARE NO PLACES LEFT FORTHEM TO GO.NO GARDEN OF MIRTH OR BLISS, THEVALLEY OF FORGIVENESS IS LINEDWITH CONDOMINIUMS AND CHAINSAWSARE HOWLING IN THE FOREST OFDESPAIR.HERE, ON THE TABLE NEAR THEWINDOW IS AN EVASIVE PEONESE,AND THE MONEY CLIP, OBJECTS THATSIT QUIETLY ALIGNED, THEMSELVESAND NOTHING MORE, A WHEELBARROW,AN EMPTY MAILBOX, A RAZOR BLADERESTING IN A GLASS ASHTRAY.AS FOR THE OTHERS, THE GREATIDEAS ON HORSEBACK, AND THE LONGHAIR VIRTUES AND EMBROIDEREDGOWNS, IT LOOKS AS IF THEYTRAVELED DOWN THOSE ROADS YOUSEE, ON THE FINAL PAGE OF THESTORYBOOKS, THE ONE THAT WINDSUP INTO AN UNSEEN VALLEY WHEREEVERYONE MUST BE FAST ASLEEP.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CECILIA INNIS FROMNORTHWOOD COLLEGIATE.>>BLEEDING HARD BY CARMENGIMENEZ SMITH.MY HEART IS BLEEDING.IT BLEEDS UPWARDS AND FILLS MYMOUTH UP WITH SALT.IT BLEEDS BECAUSE OF THE CITYAND RUINS, THE CHAIR SO WARMTHAND SISTER’S BODY BECAUSE WEWILL BE IT PRODUCIBLE.IT BLEEDS TO THE TIPS OF MYFINGERS LIKE I PAINTED MY MEALCRIMSON.SOMETIMES MY HEART BLEEDS SOMUCH, I’M A RAISIN, I’M A RAGGEDCLOCK, BLEEDING WITH THE HEROINWITH HER SMOKEY EYES.I’M BLEEDING A RIVER OF BLOODRIGHT NOW AND IT’S WEARING ACOVERT IN ME FOR THE BLOOD.MY HEART RISES UP IN ME AND ICHOKE ON IT.I’M BLEEDING FOR YOU AND FOR MEAND FOR THE TINY BABIES.IT BLEEDS BECAUSE I AM MADE THATWAY, ALL FILLED UP WITH BLOOD,MY SLOPPY HEART A SPONGE, BLOODTO SQUEEZE ON ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.BECAUSE IT’S MINE, IT WILLALWAYS BLEED.MY HEART BLED TODAY, IT BLED ONTO THE STREETS AND THE DEPTH OFCITY HALL, IT BLED IN THE PIZZAPARLOR, I GOT SO MUCH BLOOD TOGIVE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE, EVENFOR A BAD DECISION, I’LL BLEEDSO MUCH YOU’LL BE BLEEDING, ALLOF US BLEEDING IN AND OUT LIKEIT’S BREATHING, OR KISSING ANDBECAUSE IT IS RIGHTEOUS, ANDTERRIBLE, AND RED.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CONNOR HAY FROMFLINT HILL SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>I FELT A FUNERAL IN MY BRAINBY EMILY DICKINSON.I FELT A FUNERAL IN MY BRAIN,AND MOURNERS TO AND FRO KEPTTREADING, TREADING UNTIL ITSEEMED THAT SENSE WAS BREAKINGTHROUGH, AND WHEN THEY ALL WERESEATED, A SERVICE, LIKE A DRUM,KEPT BEATING, BEATING TILL ITHOUGHT MY MIND WAS GOING NUMB.THEN I HEARD THEM LIFT A BOX,AND CREEK ACROSS MY SOUL.WITH THOSE SAME BOOTS OF LEADAGAIN AND SPACE BEGAN TO TOLL.AS ALL THE HEAVENS WERE A BELLAND BEING BUT AN EAR, AND EYE,AND SILENCE, SOME STRANGE RACEWRECKED SOLITARY HERE.THEN A PLANK IN THE REASON BROKEAND I DROPPED DOWN, AND DOWN ANDHIT A WHIRL AT EVERY PLUNGE ANDFINISHED KNOWING THEN.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS JUNIELA MARI PEREZFROM KINGSTON FOREST SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>EL OLVIDO, BY JUDITH ORTIZCOFER.IT IS A DANGEROUS THING TOFORGET THE CLIMATE OF YOURBIRTHPLACE, TO CHOKE OUT THEVOICES OF DEAD RELATIVES, WHENIN DREAMS, THEY CALL YOU BY YOURSECRET NAME.IT IS DANGEROUS TO SPURN THECLOTHES YOU WERE SUPPOSED TOWEAR, DANGEROUS TO USE WEAPONSAND SHARP INSTRUMENTS YOU’RE NOTFAMILIAR WITH, DANGEROUS TODISDAIN THE SAINT WHICH YOURMOTHER KNEELS.YOU SURVIVED IN A PLACE YOU HAVECHOSEN TO LIVE.A BARE, COLD ROOM, WITH NOPICTURES ON THE WALL, ANDFORGETTING PLACE WHERE SHE FEARSSHE WILL DIE OF LONELINESS ANDEXPOSURE.JESUS JOSE, EL OLVIDO IS ADANGEROUS THING.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS JESSICA HOWARDFROM ROCKBRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>LIFT EV’RY VOICE AND SING BYJAMES WELDON JOHNSON.>>LIFT EV’RY VOICE AND SINGTILL EARTH AND HEAVEN RING, RINGWITH THE HARMONIES OF LIBERTY.LET OUR REJOICING RISE HIGH ASTHE LISTENING SKY, LET ITRESOUND LOUD AS THE ROLLING SEA.THE DARK PAST HAS TOLD US, SINGA SONG FULL OF THE HOPE THAT THEPRESENT HAS BROUGHT US.FACING THE RISING SUN OF OUR NEWDAY BEGUN, LET US MARCH ON UNTILVICTORY HAS WON.STONEY THE ROAD WE TROD, BITTER,FELT IN THE DAYS WHEN HOPEUNBORN HAD DIED.YET, A STEADY BEAT HAVE NOT OURWEARY FEET, COME TO THE PLACEWHICH OUR FATHERS SIGHED, WECOME OVER A WAY WHICH TEARS HAVEBEEN WATERED.WE TREADED THROUGH THE PATH THATWAS SLAUGHTERED, NOW WE STANDLAST WITH WHITE GLEAM OF OURBRIGHT STAR IS CAST.GOD OF OUR WEARY YEARS, GOD OFOUR SILENT TEARS, GOD WHO HASBROUGHT US THUS FAR ON THE WAY,THOU LET US INTO THE LIGHT, KEEPUS FOREVER IN THE PAST WE PRAY,THUS OUR FEET STRAIGHT IN THEPLACES WHERE GOD WE MET THEE, INTHE WORLD THAT WE FORGET THEE,SHADOWED BENEATH MY HAND, TRUETO OUR GOD, TRUE TO OUR NATIVELAND.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS ALLANA YOO FROMST. CATHARINES SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>MORE LIES BY KARIN GOTTSHALL.SOMETIMES I SAY I’M GOING TOMEET MY SISTER AT THE CAFE, EVENTHOUGH I HAVE NO SISTER JUSTBECAUSE IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFULTHING TO SAY.I ALWAYS THOUGHT SO, EVER SINCEI READ A NOVEL WHICH TWO SISTERSARE CONSTANTLY MEETING IN CAFES.TODAY, I WALKED ALONG ON THE WETSIDEWALK, WEARING MY RAIN BOOTS,EXPECTING SOMEONE MIGHT ASKWHERE I WAS HEADED.I BOUGHT A PAD AND BATTERY, ANDTHE WINDOW FOGGED UP.RAIN IN APRIL IS A KIND OFPROMISE, IT COST NOTHING.I CARRIED A BAG OF BOOKS TO THECAFE AND ORDERED TEA.I LIKE A PLACE THAT’S LIT BYLAMPS.I LIKE A PLACE WHERE YOU CANHEAR PEOPLE TALK ABOUT SMALLTHINGS, LIKE THE DIFFERENCE OFCERT RULIAN, OR A PLACE FORTULIPS.I WATCHED SOMEONE THAT COULD BEMY SISTER WALK IN, SHAKING THERAIN FROM HER HAIR.I THOUGHT, EVEN NOW, FORESTS AREFILLING WITH TULIPS, $5 ABUNDLES.ALL OVER THE CITY, THERE ARESISTERS.ANY ONE OF THEM COULD BE MINE.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS BURTON ELLER FROMGRACE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>MORTAL SORROWS BY RODNEYJONES.>>BURTON, YOU SHARED WITH USBEFORE THE COMPETITION THATWATCHING THE AUDIENCE BEFORE YOURECITE HELPS YOU PREPARE.HOW ARE WE DOING?>>PRETTY GOOD.YEAH, I THINK MORE SPECIFICALLYWHEN I’M DOING PLAYS, AND YOU’RESTANDING BEHIND THE CURTAINS ANDTHEY’RE CLOSED AND YOU HEAR THEROAR OF THE AUDIENCE, THAT’SINTIMIDATING.JUST BEING ABLE TO PEEK OUT ANDSEE THAT IT’S JUST PEOPLETALKING, THAT CALMS ME DOWN.>>I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND, I’LLREMEMBER THAT FOR THE REST OFTHE PROGRAM.THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU.[APPLAUSE]>>UP CONNECTION — UP NEXT ISTAYLOR LINDEA CHRISTINE DEWS FROM NORTHWOOD COLLEGIATE.>>CAGED BIRD BY MAYA ANGELOU.A FREE BIRD LEAPS ON THE BACK OFTHE BID — WIND, AND DIPS HISWING IN THE ORANGE SUN’S RAYSAND DARES TO CLAIM THE SKY.A BIRD THAT STALKS DOWN HISNARROW CAGE CAN SELDOM SEETHROUGH HIS BARS OF RAGE.HIS WINGS ARE CLIPPED AND HISFEET ARE TIED.HE OPENS HIS THROAT TO SING, THECAGED BIRD SINGS WITH A FAITHFULTWIL, WITH SCENES UNKNOWN.HIS TOMB IS HEARD ON THE DISTANTHILL, FOR THE CAGED BIRD SINGSFREEDOM.THE FREE BIRD SINGS OF ANOTHERBREEZE AND THE TRADE WIND SAWTHROUGH THE SIGHING TREES, ANDTHE WORMS WAITING ON A BRIGHTLAWN, AND HE NAMES THE SKY HISOWN, BUT A CAGED BIRD STANDS ONTHE GRAVE OF DREAMS, HIS SHADOWSHOUTS ON A NIGHTMARE’S DREAM,HIS WINGS ARE CLIPPED AND HISFEET ARE TIED, SO HE OPENS HISTHROAT TO SING.THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, OF THINGSUNKNOWN, BUT LONG FORSTILL, ANDHIS TOMB IS HEARD ON THE DISTANTHILL, FOR THE CAGED BIRD SINGSOF FREEDOM.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CHARISMA HENRYFROM W.T. WOODSON HIGH SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>TO THE NOTEBOOK KID BY EVEL.EWING.YO, CHOCOLATE MILK FOR BREAKFASTKID.SCROUNGING AT THE BOTTOM OF YOURMAMA’S PURSE FOR BUS FARE ANDGUM.YOU GOT INK ON YOUR THUMB, KID.WHAT’S GOOD ON THE CEMENT KID,WHITE CASTLE KID, STAINEDPURPLE, CUSSING ON THE COURT,UNTIL YOUR LITTLE BROTHER SHOWSUP WITH A HALF A CANDY BAR KID.YOU EARNED IT KID.ETCH YOUR NAME IN A TREE, HUGYOUR GRANNY ON HER BIRTHDAY,THINK OF ALASKA.CURLED UP, DREAMS OF SALMON,SAFETY, TUNDRA, THE FARTHESTAWAY PLACE YOU EVER SEEN IN ABOOK.POLAR BEARS YOUR NEW CHESTPARTNER, TICK-TACS IN THE ICE.KEEP YOUR NOTEBOOK WHERE YOURCOUSINS WON’T FIND THEM.LEAVE IT ON MY DESK IF YOU WANT.SHUFFLE UNDER CARBON PAPER ANDSTAMP THAT SCREEN.YELLOW AND RED TO DRAW THE EYEFROM THE OCEAN YOU KEEP HIDDENIN A JACKED UP 5-STAR.YOUR MAMA THOUGHT THERE WAS ASECRET IN THERE.THOUGHT THEY WOULD LAUGH, BUTTHAT AIN’T IT.IT’S THAT THROWS, AND FLOWS, ANDLINES, LIKE THOSE BITS YOU GOT.BARS UNTIL THE END OF TIME.YOU COULD RAP, LIKE HELIUM BOUTTO SPRING.ALL OF IT, DOWN TO YOU.NONE LEFT IN THE SUN.FUELLESS, WHILE THE LAST LIGHTPUSHES FROM YOUR BELLY, CLIMBINGAT YOUR RIBS, AND YOU LAUGH INTOTHE MICROPHONE.HA HA, AND WHO IS READY FORTHAT?[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS KATHRYN ADAMSFROM BROADWAY HIGH SCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>I AM OFFERING THIS POEM, BYJIMMY SANTIAGO BACA.I AM OFFERING THIS POEM TO YOU,SINCE I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TOGIVE.KEEP IT, LIKE A WARM COAT WHENWINTER COMES TO COVER YOU, ORLIKE A PAIR OF THICK SOCKS THATCOLD CANNOT BITE THROUGH.I LOVE YOU, I HAVE NOTHING ELSETO GIVE YOU, SO IT IS A POT FULLOF YELLOW CORN TO WARM YOURBELLY IN WINTER, IT’S A SCARF TOWEAR OVER YOUR HAIR AND TO TIEUP OVER YOUR FACE.I LOVE YOU, KEEP IT.TREASURE THIS AS YOU WOULD IFYOU WERE LOST, NEEDING DIRECTIONIN THE WILDERNESS, LIFE BECOMESWHEN MATURE.IN THE CORNER OF YOUR DRAWER,TUCKED AWAY LIKE A CABIN, ANDTREES COME KNOCKING.I WILL ANSWER, GIVE YOUDIRECTIONS, AND LET YOU WARMYOURSELF BY THIS FIRE.REST BY THIS FIRE, AND MAKE YOUFEEL SAFE.I LOVE YOU.IT’S ALL I HAVE TO GIVE AND ALLANYONE NEEDS TO LIVE AND TO GOON LIVING INSIDE WHEN THE WORLDOUTSIDE NO LONGER CARES IF YOULIVE OR DIE.REMEMBER, I LOVE YOU.[APPLAUSE]>>FINALLY FOR THIS ROUND ISMALONI WRIGHT FROM LIBERTY HIGHSCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>PASSING BY TOI DERRICOTTE.A PROFESSOR INVITES ME TO HISBLACK LIT CLASS.ONE OF THE BLACK STUDENTS SAYS,SOMETIMES THEY THINK THEY CANFOOL OTHER BLACKS BUT I CANALWAYS TELL.LOOKING RIGHT THROUGH ME, AFTERI TELL THEM I AM BLACK, I ASKTHE CLASS, WAS I PASSING WHEN IWAS JUST SITTING HERE, BEFORE ITOLD YOU?A WHITE WOMAN SHAKES HER HEADDESPERATELY, AS IF IDELIBERATELY DECEIVED HER.SHE KEEPS EXAMINING MY FACE ANDTURNING AWAY AS IF I’LLDISAPPEAR.WHY PRESUME PASSING IS BASED ONWHAT I LEAVE OUT AND NOT WHATSHE FILLS IN.IN ONE SCENE IN A BOOK, IN ARESTAURANT, SHE’S PASSING,THOUGH NO ONE CHECKED HER AT THEDOOR.HEY, YOU BLACK?MY FATHER, WHO LOOKED WHITE,TOLD ME THIS STORY.EVERY YEAR, WHEN HE GOES TO GETHIS DRIVER’S LICENSE, THE MAN ATTHE WINDOW FILLING OUT THE FORMWOULD ASK, WHITE OR BLACK?WITHOUT LOOKING UP.MY FATHER WOULDN’T PASS, BUT HEWOULD USE SILENCE, WHEN HEDIDN’T SPEAK, THE MAN WOULD LOOKUP AT MY FATHER’S FACE.MY FATHER QUIZZED ME.[APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES OUR FIRSTROUNDOF RECITATIONS.WE WILL HAVE A BRIEFINTERMISSION AND RETURN TO ENJOYA PERFORMANCE BY REGIE CABICO, ATEACHING ARTIST WITH THEVIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THEARTS.[APPLAUSE]>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,PLEASE WELCOME REGIE CABICO.REGIE CABICO IS A VCA TEACHINGARTIST, A POET AND THEATREARTIST.HE WORKS REGULARLY WITH THEKENNEDY CENTER FOR PERFORMINGARTS AND THE DC COMMISSION FORTHE ARTS.HE IS A POET AND SPOKEN WORDPIONEER, HAVING WON THENUYORICAN POETS CAFÉ GRANDE SLAMIN 1993 AND IN 2016 HE WASAWARDED A DC COMMISSION FOR THEARTS FELLOWSHIP.THIS IS CHECK ONE, RECITED BYREGIE CABICO.>>THIS POEM IS DEDICATED TOEVERYONE THAT HAS TO CHECK ABOX.THE GOVERNMENT ASKED ME TO CHECK1 IF I WANT MONEY.I SAY, HOW COULD YOU ASK ME TOBE ONE RACE?I STAND PROUDLY BEFORE YOU, AFIERCE FILIPINO WHO KNOWS HOW TOSING GOSPEL SONGS TO AFRICANSONGS AT A CATHOLIC MASS AND THECAPITAL STREETS, SOUTHEAST D.C.WITH ITS SLEEPY CRIME, MY MOTHERNURSES PATIENTS FROM 7:00 TO9:00, PATIENTS GRAY FROM THERAILROAD WRITING PASSABLERIGHTS.I WALK THEIR TRACKS WHEN IENTERTAIN THEM AT THE CHAPEL ANDPILLARS OF PERCUSSION TO MYHEAVY GOSPEL, MY COMEDY OUTLOUD, STOLEN EXPERIENCES OF THESOUTH.WOULD IT SURPRISE YOU IF I TOLDYOU MY BLOOD WAS DELIVERED FROMTHE NORTH, OF PORTUGUESE VESSELSTHAT GAVE ME SPIRITUAL STONES?MY FATHER’S NAME, WHEN THEY CONKWUR — CONQUERED THE SPECIFICAISLES.FLOWERS DEFYING CIVILIZATIONLIKE FILIPINO DANCE IN THEMOUNTAINS.I COULD GIVE YOU AN EPIC ABOUTMY WAYS OF LIFE FOR MY LOOK, ANDYOU WANT ME TO FILL IT IN ONESQUARE BOX?HOW COULD YOU TELL ME TO FILLALL OF THE WATERS IN ONE SQUAREBOX.WHERE DO YOU COUNT EXISTINGIDENTITIES, FOR THE MIND ORCRAYOLA, THERE’S NO ONE KIND TOFILL FOR ANYONE.YOU TELL ME WHO I AM, AND I’LLSING THAT SONG LIKE A ONE MANCARAVAN.I KNOW NAPLES, WELFARE, FOODSTAMPS, NATURE, AND YOU WANT METO SING ONE SONG?I HAVE THAT WHICH ENCROW ANDSHUFFLED MY HIPS TO THE SOUND OFGUITARS.WALTZ WITH DEAD LOVERS, SKIPPEDTHE BAMBOO>>IT WAS THE FIRST ONE I DID,AND YOU MY FATHER.AND MY DAD ISN’T DYING ORANYTHING, WHICH WOULD BE REALLYSAD.I’M LUCKY HE’S NOT, BUT I LOVEHIM SO MUCH.HE’S A BIG PART OF WHY I’MSTANDING UP HERE TODAY.EVERY TIME I SAY THAT LINE, ILOOK AT HIM.IT’S SPECIAL TO ME.THAT’S WHY I PICKED THAT ONE,AND I STUCK WITH IT, IT’S MYFIRST POEM.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS SARAH LAW.[APPLAUSE]>>DIAMETER BY MICHELLE Y.BURKE.YOU LOVE YOUR FRIEND, SO YOU FLYACROSS THE COUNTRY TO SEE HER.YOUR FRIEND IS GRIEVING.WHEN YOU LOOK AT HER, YOU SEETHAT SOMETHING’S MISSING.YOU LOOK AGAIN, SHE SEEMS ALLTHERE, READING GLASSES, SARCASM,LEATHER PUMPS, WHAT DID YOUEXPECT?RUINS?TO METER WITHOUT ARMS IN THEBRITISH MUSEUM?YOUR FRIEND SAID SHE BELIEVESTHERE IS MORE PAIN THAN BEAUTYIN THE WORLD.WHEN PERSEPHONY WAS TAKEN, THEYDAMNED HALF OF THE WORLD, ANDTHE OTHER WAS BOUNTIFUL.ON THE PLANE, THE MAN NEXT TOYOU READ A GEOMETRY BOOK,FINDING THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF ACIRCLE, ON CIRCUMFERENCE.YOU CAN CALCULATE THE WAY AROUNDIF YOU KNOW THE WAY ACROSS.YOU TRY ACROSS WITH YOUR FRIEND.YOU TRY AROUND.I DON’T BELIEVE IN AND AFTERLIFE, SHE SAYS.AFTER KAY DIED, I THOUGHT IMIGHT GO AFTER HER.IN CASE I’M WRONG, IN CASE SHE’SSOMEWHERE, WAITING.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CECILIA INNIS.[APPLAUSE]>>CONTRACTION BY RAVI SHANKAR.SELF SCRUTINY TOO EASILY MUTINY,MUTATES INTO FALSE MEMORIESWHICH BY LANGUAGE OF RECEPTIVEHOSTS, BOOSTED BYEMBELLISHMENTS.SELF-ESTEEM IS RAISED OP WOBBLYBEINGS, SEEN AS STUFFED ENOUGHTO FUND THE HEDGE OFPERSONALITY.THOUGH, PERSONALLY, I CAN NOTFORGET WHOM I HAVE MET ANDSOMEHOW WRONGED, TO JOT AFUGITIVE JUICE, TRADING SOMEREPRODUCE FOR A BLOT OR TWO, ANDTRANSPARENT DICTION.QUICK FIXATION, AS THE PULSE OFIMPULSIVE DRAIN THROUGH MYVEINS, I TRY TO LIVE.20 LIVES AT ONCE.NOW 1 IS PLENTY.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CONNOR HAY.[APPLAUSE]>>DEAR READER, BY RITA MAEREESE.YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN IT ALL.YOU FORGOTTEN YOUR NAME, WHEREYOU LIVED, WHO YOU LOVED, WHY?I’M SIMPLY YOUR NURSE, TERSE ANDUNLOVELY.I POINT TO THINGS AND REMIND YOUWHAT THEY ARE.CHAIR, BOOK, DAUGHTER, SOUP, ANDWHEN WE ARE ALONE, I TELL YOUWHAT LIES IN EACH DIRECTION.THIS WAY IS DEATH.THIS WAY, AFTER A LONGER WALK,IS DEATH.THAT WAY IS DEATH, BUT YOU WON’TSEE IT UNTIL IT IS RIGHT INFRONT OF YOU.ONCE, YOUR NIECE CAME TO VISITYOU AND I SAID SOMETHING LIKEYOU MUST LOVE HER OR SHE MUSTLOVE YOU, OR SOMETHING USELESSLIKE THAT.YOU GRIPPED MY FOREARM AND YOUSAID SHE IS EVERYTHING.YOU GAVE ME A SHAKE.EVERYTHING TO ME.THEN YOU FELL BACK INTO THEWELL.DEEP IN THE WELL OF EVERYTHING.I STAND AT THE EDGE AND CALL,CHAIR, BOOK, DAUGHTER, SOUP.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS JUNIELA MARIPEREZ.[APPLAUSE]>>THE IMPOSSIBLE REPLICATION OFDESIRE BY LEE HERRICK.HOW MUCH DELIGHT BEFORE WECOLLAPSE?HOW MUCH EARTH?HOW MUCH WINE?WHEN WE WANT MORE, WHEN THEWEEDS SPRAWL, IT IS NOT WHAT YOUTHINK.THINK HOW FAST SOME LANDSCAPESCHANGE, THE LOVER, THE GARDNER’SGRAND IDEA, THE FALLING MAPLE,THE BOAT ABOUT TO CAPSIZE, THECORRECTION, THE HAND’SREFLECTION, THE IMPOSSIBLEREPLICATION OF WEIGHT VERSUSTIME.HOW IT WILL NEVER MEAN WHAT YOUWANT.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS JESSICA HOWARD.[APPLAUSE]>>A PSALM OF LIFE BY HENRYWADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.>>JESSICA YOU SHARED WITH USTHAT ONE OF YOUR EARLIESTPERFORMANCE MEMORIES WAS ATALENT SHOW AT AGE 7.WHAT TALENT DID YOU SHOWCASE?>>I SHOWCASED SINGING.>>WONDERFUL, SO YOU’RE A SINGERAS WELL?>>YES.>>WELL, THANK YOU FOR SHARINGSOME OF YOUR TALENTS TODAY.>>THANK YOU.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS ALLANA YOO.[APPLAUSE]>>CARTOON PHYSICS, PART 1 BYNICK FLYNN.CHILDREN UNDER SAY, 10,SHOULDN’T KNOW THAT THE UNIVERSEIS EVER EXPANDING, PUSHING INTOTHE VACUUM, GALAXIES SWALLOWEDBY GALAXIES, WHOLE SOLAR SYSTEMSCOLLAPSING.ALL OF IT, ACTED OUT IN SILENCE.AT 10:00, WE ARE STILL LEARNINGTHE RULES OF CARTOON ANIMATION,THAT AS THE MAN DRAWS THE DOORON A ROCK, ONLY HE CAN PASSTHROUGH IT, AND ANYONE ELSE WHOTRIES WILL CRASH INTO THE ROCK.10-YEAR-OLDS SHOULD STICK WITHBURNING HOUSES, CAR WRECKS,SHIPS GOING DOWN, EARTH BOUND,TANGIBLE DISASTERS.THEY CAN BE HEROES.YOU CAN RUN BACK INTO A BURNINGHOUSE, SINKING SHIPS HAVELIFEBOATS, AND THE TRUCKS WILLCOME WITH THEIR LADDERS, IF YOUJUMP, YOU WILL BE SAVED.A CHILD PLACES HER HAND ON THEROOF OF A SCHOOL BUS, AND DRIVESACROSS THE CITY.SHE KNOWS THE EXACT SPOT WILLSKID, AT WHICH POINT THE BRIDGEWILL GIVE, WHO WILL RUN TOSAFETY AND WHO WILL BE PULLEDUNDER BY SHARKS.SHE WILL LEARN THAT A MAN RUNSOFF THE EDGE OF A CLIFF, HE WILLNOT FALL, UNTIL HE NOTICES HISMISTAKE.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS BURTON ELLER.[APPLAUSE]>>ART VS. TRADE BY JAMES WELDONJOHNSON.>>BURTON, I UNDERSTAND YOUYOURSELF ARE A POET.>>YEAH, I GUESS, KIND OF, YEAH.>>HOW DOES YOUR OWN WRITINGINFLUENCE OTHER POET’S WORKS?>>I THINK IT HELPS MEPERSONALLY.IT HELPS ME APPRECIATE POETRY,JUST MORE IN GENERAL, AS AN ARTFORM.MY STYLE IS DEFINITELY VERYDIFFERENT THAN OTHER PEOPLE’SSTYLES.IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE HOWDIFFERENT PEOPLE WILL CREATESOMETHING, LIKE EVEN DEALINGWITH THE SAME EMOTION.SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT,DIFFERENT FORMS, DIFFERENTCONTENT, EVERYTHING REALLY.IT’S JUST INTERESTING TO SEE HOWTWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE CAN COME ATSOMETHING, COMPLETELYDIFFERENTLY.>>WONDERFUL.THANK YOU VERY MUCH.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS TAYLOR LINDEACHRISTINE DEWS [APPLAUSE]>>IT WAS NOT DEATH, FOR I STOODUP BY EMILY DICKINSON.IT WAS NOT DEATH, FOR I STOOD UPAND ALL THE DEAD LIED DOWN.IT WAS NOT NIGHT FOR ALL THEBELLS PUT OUT THEIR TONGUES FORNOON.IT WAS NOT FROST FOR ON MY FLESHI FELT CRAWL, NOR FIRE FOR JUSTMY MARBLE FEET COULD KEEP ACHANCE COOL, AND YET IT TASTEDLIKE THEM ALL.AS IF MY LIFE WERE SHAVEN ANDFITTED TO A FRAME AND COULD NOTBREATHE WITHOUT A KEY AND IT WASMIDNIGHT WHEN EVERYTHING THATTICKED HAD STOPPED AND SPACESTAIRS ALL AROUND.A FROST FIRST AUTUMN MOURNS, THEBEATING GROUND.THE MOST LIKED CHAOS, STOPLESS,COOL, WITHOUT A CHANCE, OR SPAR,OR EVEN A REPORT OF LAND TOJUSTIFY.DESPAIR.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS CHARISMA HENRY.[APPLAUSE]>>PERSONAL BY TONY HOAGLAND.DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL, THEYSAID, BUT I DID.I TOOK IT ALL QUITE PERSONAL.THE BREEZE, THE RIVER, AND THECOLOR OF THE FIELDS.THE PRICE OF GRAPEFRUIT ANDSTAMPS, BUT HERE WOMEN IN THERAIN, AND I CURSED WHAT HURT MEAND I PRAISED WHAT GAVE ME JOY.THE MOST SIMPLE MINDED OFPOSSIBLE RESPONSES, THEGOVERNMENT REMINDED ME OF MYFATHER, WITH ITS DEAFNESS ANDITS LAWS AND WEATHER REMINDED MEOF MY MOM WITH HER TROPICALSQUALLS.ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN, THEYSAID OF HAPPINESS.THINK FIRST.INSTEAD OF TALK, GET OVER IT.THEY SAID, AT THE SCHOOL OFBROKEN HEARTS, BUT I COULDN’T.I DIDN’T.AND I DON’T BELIEVE IN THE CLEANBREAK.I BELIEVE IN THE COPOUNDFRACTURE, SERVED WITH A SAUCE OFDIRTY REGRET.I BELIEVE IN SAYING IT ALL ANDTAKING IT ALL BACK.THEN SAYING IT AGAIN FOR GOODMEASURE.I’M SORRY, LIKE WHEELING BIRDSIN THE TREES LOOK SICK IN THEWIND.OH LIFE, CAN YOU BLAME ME FORMAKING A SCENE?YOU WERE THAT YELLOW CABOOSE,THE MOVE APPEARING OVER A RIDGEOF CLOUDS.I WAS THE DOG, CHAINED IN SOMEFOOL’S BACKYARD, BARKING ANDBARKING, TRYING>>NO, I MUST PLAY THE ONE ABOUTTHE SINGLE YELLOW DAFFODIL,STANDING ON MY KITCHEN TABLE,WHOSE CUT STEM DRAWS THE WATERUPWARDS SO THE PLANT IS FLUSHEDWITH CONVICTION, AND THE WATERHAS BEEN SENT TO FIND AND RAISEIT UP FROM SOMEWHERE SO DEEPINSIDE THE EARTH, NOT EVENFLOWERS CAN REMEMBER.[APPLAUSE]>>CLOSING OUT ROUND TWO, WEHAVE MALONI WRIGHT.[APPLAUSE]>>ON VIRTUE BY PHILLISWHEATLEY.OH THY BRIGHT JEWEL, I STRIVE TOCOMPREHEND THEM, WISDOM ISHIGHER THAN A FOOL CAN REACH.I CEASE TO WONDER, OR FATHOMTHEY PROFOUND, BUT OH MY SOUL.SINK NOT INTO DESPAIR, VIRTUE ISNEAR THEE, AND GENTLE HANDS WILLEMBRACE THEE.HEAVILY OPINIONS SPREAD ANDSPREAD CASSIDY ALONG, NOW HERDESCEND, FROM THE ORBS ABOVE, ATENDING VIRTUE FOR MY YOUTHFULYEARS, NOT TO THE FALSE JOYS OFTIME, BUT GUIDE MY STEPS TOENDLESS LIFE AND BLISS,GREATNESS, OR GOODNESS.SAY WHAT I SHALL CALL THEE TOGIVEN STILL.TEACH ME A BETTER STRAIN, ANOBLER LAY, IN CHERUBS IN THEREALM OF DAY.[APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES ROUND TWO, WEWILL TAKE A BRIEFINTERMISSION IN PREPARATION FORROUND 3.>>I WALK MORE SOFTLY NOW IN THEGARDENS, WALK THE STEPS OF OLDHOUSES.I FELL IN LOVE WITH POETRY OUTLOUD.IF IT WASN’T FOR THE FIELD OVERTHERE, I WOULD BE SITTING AT MYHOUSE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.>>THE THING ABOUT POETRY IS THEAMOUNT OF EXPRESSION AND EMOTIONYOU PUT INTO IT BECAUSE YOU’REMAKING THE POEM COME ALIVE.>>NOW IT’S MY FINGERS RIPENING,AND EVENING THAT’S REACHING FORTHEM.>>MY GRANDPA, HE WOULD OFTENREPEAT THE LAST FEW LINES TO ME.I THINK THEY GO, IT MATTERS NOTHOW STRAIGHT THE GATE, HOWPUNISHMENT THE SCROLL, I’M THEMASTER OF MY FATE, THE CAPTAIN.I KEEP THAT DURING THE HARDTIMES IN MY LIFE BECAUSE ITPUSHES ME TO DO BETTER.>>WHAT WOULD YOU SAY SURPRISEDYOU AND ENCOURAGED TOPARTICIPATE IN POETRY OUT LOUD.>>GETTING THIS FAR.>>THE SKY IS BLUE, TO RED, TOMOLTED GOLD, I AM TRYING TO SAYTHE NEIGHBORHOOD IS PATCHY ANDFEATHERED AS ANYTHING ELSE.I’M NOT GOING TO SAY YOUFULFILLED WHAT YOU WERE GOINGTHROUGH AT THAT TIME BECAUSENOBODY CAN, BUT YOU CAN HAVE ACLEAR UNDERSTANDING.>>YOU CAN RUN BACKWARDS TO THEBURNING HOUSE, SINKING SHIPS.>>HOW SHOULD I PLAY THIS?HOW AM I GOING TO INFLECT MYVOICE AND WORDING?>>SHE WILL LEARN THAT IF A MANRUNS OFF THE EDGE OF A CLIFF,SHE WILL NOT FALL.>>THERE SHOULD BE TINY BELLSINSERTED SOMEWHERE AND THECRICKETS SINGING IN THE GROVES.>>I’VE BEEN BAD AT PUBLICSPEAKING AND I ALWAYS GOTTENREALLY NERVOUS UP ON STAGE.IT’S BEEN NICE TO STEP OUTSIDEOF MY COMFORT ZONE AND REALIZETHAT I CAN GET IN FRONT OF THESECROWDS AND TALK, AND IT WILL BEOKAY.>>THE JUDGES HAVE IDENTIFIEDTHE TOP THREE FINALISTS TOPROCEED TO THE FINAL ROUND OFTODAY’S COMPETITION, JESSICAHOWARD, ALLANA YOO, AND CHARISMAHENRY.[APPLAUSE]>>LET’S BEGIN THE FINAL ROUNDOF THE COMPETITION TO DETERMINEOUR STATE CHAMPION.AS WITH THE PREVIOUS ROUNDSSTUDENTS WILL IDENTIFY THEIRPOEM AND AUTHOR.FIRST UP IS JESSICA HOWARD.[APPLAUSE]>>I TO BY LANGSTON HUGHES.I, TOO AMERICA, I AM THE DARKERBROTHER, THEY SEND ME TO EAT INTHE KITCHEN WHEN COMPANY COMES,BUT I LAUGH.I EAT WELL AND GROW STRONG.TOMORROW, I’LL BE AT THE TABLEWHEN COMPANY COMES.NOBODY WILL DARE SAY TO ME EATIN THE KITCHEN, THEN.ALL RIGHT, LET’S SEE HOWBEAUTIFUL I AM.AND BE ASHAMED.I, TOO, AM AMERICA.[APPLAUSE]>>UP NEXT IS ALLANA YOO.[APPLAUSE]>>FRIENDSHIP AFTER LOVE, BYELLA WHEELER WILCOX.AFTER THE FIERCE SUMMER, ALLABLAZE HAS BURNED ITSELF TOASHES AND EXPIRED IN THEINTENSITY OF ITS OWN FIRES.THERE COMES THE MELLOW MILDSAINT MARTIN DAYS.CROWNED WITH THE CALMNESS OFPEACE.SO AFTER LOVE HAS LET US, TILLHE TIRES OF HIS OWN DESIRES,COMES LARGE EYED FRIENDSHIP,WITH A RESTFUL GLAZE, HE BECKONSUS TO FOLLOW, WE WONDER FREEFROM CARE.A TOUCH OF FROST FLIES IN THEAIR.WHY ARE WE HAUNTED WITH THESENSE OF LOST?WE DON’T WISH THE PAIN BACK ORTHE HEAT.YET, AND YET, THESE DAYS AREINCOMPLETE.[APPLAUSE]>>ROUNDING OUT OUR FINAL ROUNDIN TODAY’S COMPETITION ISCHARISMA HENRY.[APPLAUSE]>>WHEN YOU ARE OLD.WHEN YOU ARE OLD, BY WILLIAMBUTLER YEATS.WHEN YOU ARE OLD, AND GRAY, ANDFULL OF SLEEP, AND NODDING BYTHE FIRE.TAKE DOWN THIS BOOK AND SLOWLYREAD AND DREAM OF THOSE SOFTLOOKS YOUR EYES HAD ONCE AND OFTHEIR SHADOWS DEEP, HOW MANYLOVED THE MOMENTS OF BLACKGRACE, AND LOVED YOUR BEAUTY, ORTRUE, BUT ONE MAN LOVED THEPILGRIM SEWED IN YOU, AND LOVEDTHE SORROWS OF YOUR CHANGINGFACE AND BENDING DOWN BESIDE THEGLOWING BAR.MURMUR, A LITTLE SADLY, HOW LOVEFLED AND PACED UPON THEMOUNTAINS OVERHEAD AND HID HISFACE A MIDST A CROWD OF STARS.[APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES OUR THIRD ANDFINAL ROUND OF RECITATIONSTODAY.WHILE THE JUDGES ARE TABULATINGTHEIR SCORES, I WOULD LIKE TOINTRODUCE YOU TO MARGARETVANDERHYE, THE EXECUTIVEDIRECTOR OF THE VIRGINIACOMMISSION FOR THE ARTS, WHICHHELPED MAKE ALL THIS POSSIBLE.[APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEX ANDTHANKS TO ALL OF YOU AND THEVIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTSHERE IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.WE HAVE 13 GUBERNATORIALCOMMISSIONERS AND THEY ARECHEERING YOU ON TODAY, ANDENTHUSIASTICALLY EMBRACE THISPROGRAM.ASIDE FROM ALL THE OTHER PEOPLEI WANT TO THANK TODAY, I WANT TOTHANK OUR 12 REGIONAL WINNERS.YOU HAVE REALLY PUT YOUR HEARTAND SOUL INTO THIS COMPETITIONAND YOU HAVE PREVAILED OVER9,000 OTHER HIGH SCHOOLCONTESTANTS TO GET TO THIS SPACETODAY FROM STUDENTS ACROSSVIRGINIA.I LIKE TO THANK THE PARENTS ANDTHE TEACHERS, AND THE FRIENDSTHAT ARE HERE TODAY, SUPPORTINGALL OF THESE STUDENTS AND ALL OFTHESE COMPETITORS.[APPLAUSE]>>YOU PROVIDED THEENCOURAGEMENT AND THE NURTURING,AND THE SACRIFICE, ESPECIALLY ONTHE DAYS WHEN IT GOT TOUGH.I’D LIKE TO THANK CURTIS AND ALLOF THE FOLKS AT WCVE FOR OURCONTINUED PARTNERSHIP TO PUTTHIS WONDERFUL COMPETITION ON.WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITHYOU AGAIN IN THE FUTURE AND WETHANK YOU FOR RECORDING THISCOMPETITION SO THAT OTHERSAROUND THE STATE AND OTHERPUBLIC RADIO STATIONS CANBROADCAST IT, SO MANY MOREPEOPLE IN VIRGINIA CAN HEARABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD ANDPERHAPS NEXT YEAR, THERE WILL BE10,000 STUDENTS, WHO KNOWS.I WANT TO THANK OUR INDIVIDUALDONORS, CAROLYN AND BILLPAULLET, FOR THEIR SUPPORT INTHIS PROGRAM, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE.[APPLAUSE]>>I WANT TO THANK ALEXANDRA,OUR M.C. FOR KEEPING IT FUN.AND I WANT TO STAY THANK YOU TOTHE STAFF DIRECTOR WHO HASDIRECTED THIS PROGRAM AND HASBEEN WORKING ON IT TIRELESSLYFOR ALMOST A YEAR.I PROMISE YOU, WE WOULDN’T BESITTING HERE TODAY IF IT WASN’TFOR HER PERSEVERANCE AND HERATTENTION TO DETAIL.[APPLAUSE]>>I ALSO LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGETHE THREE VIRGINIA COMMISSIONFOR THE ARTS BOARD MEMBERS WHOARE WITH US TODAY.THEY TRAVELED HERE TO BE WITHYOU AND CHEER ALL OF YOU ON, WEHAVE OUR CHAIR SHELLEY KRUGERWEISBERG FROM WILLIAMSBURG.[APPLAUSE]>>SECRETARY FAYE BAILEY FROMPORTSMITH AND THE CO-CHAIR JOE.HE’S CO-CHAIRING OUR 50thANNIVERSARY AND ACTIVITIES ANDWE HOPE YOU WILL HEAR A LOT MOREIN THE DAYS AHEAD.BEFORE WE ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS,I WANT TO TAKE ONE SECOND, APOINT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE ASWE SAY IN RICHMOND, TO SPEAKDIRECTLY TO ALL OF YOUCOMPETITORS.SOME OF YOU, I TALKED TO YOUBEFORE HAPPENED, AND SOME OF YOUARE FAMILIAR BEING IN FRONT OF AMICROPHONE OR ON A STAGE.IT’S SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DOAND YOU’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TODO.FOR SOME OF YOU, I KNOW THIS WASA LEAP OF FAITH.THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVEEVER STEPPED OUT AND EXERCISEDYOUR CREATIVE EXPRESSION INFRONT OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE INQUITE THIS WAY.FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY BEWON’T GO ON AND SPEND YOUR LIFEIN FRONT OF THE FLOOD LIGHTS, ORMAYBE THOSE WHO JUST LOOKED ONTHIS AS A ONE TIME OPPORTUNITY,I PROMISE YOU, THAT IN THEFUTURE, AND ALL OF YOU IN THEAUDIENCE KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE,SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE, WHENYOU HAVE A BIG CHALLENGE, ORSOMETHING SEEMS HARD, ORSOMETHING SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, ANDYOU DON’T KNOW HOW YOU ARE GOINGTO HANDLE IT AND WHERE ARE YOUGOING TO DRAW THE STRENGTH TOHANDLE WHAT’S COMING, A LITTLEVOICE WILL SIT OFF YOUR SHOULDERAND SAY REMEMBER THAT TIME INHIGH SCHOOL, THAT TIME IN HIGHSCHOOL WHEN YOU HAD TO RECITEALL THOSE POEMS, AND YOU HAD TOGET IT EXACTLY RIGHT AND DO ITWITH LOTS OF FEELING?YOU DID THAT, YOU GOT THIS.[LAUGHTER]>>YOU’RE ALL CHAMPIONS, YOU DIDAN EXEMPTARY.YOU’RE A ROLE MODEL FOR THE NEXTGENERATION OF STUDENTS ANDPEOPLE IN VIRGINIA AND ACROSSTHE COUNTRY, AND WE SALUTE YOU.YOU ARE ALL CHAMPIONS.THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DIDTODAY, TO MAKE THIS COMPETITIONSO ENJOYABLE FOR ALL OF US.[APPLAUSE]>>AND NOW I’M GOING TO TURN THEPODIUM BACK TO ALEX, AND CHAIRSHELLEY KRUGER WEISBERG AND IARE GOING TO HELP PRESENTING THEAWARDS.THANK YOU ALL.[APPLAUSE]>>ALL RIGHT, THE JUDGES HAVEDETERMINED A WINNER AND RUNNERUP.BEFORE WE MAKE THATANNOUNCEMENT, JUST A REMINDER.THE STATE CHAMPION WILL RECEIVE$200 AND AN ALL-EXPENSE PAIDTRIP TO WASHINGTON, DC WITH ACHAPERONE TO ATTEND THE NATIONALPOETRY OUT LOUD COMPETITION ON APRIL 25-26.THE CHAMPION’S SCHOOL WILLRECEIVE A $500 STIPEND FOR THEPURCHASE OF POETRY BOOKS.ONE RUNNER-UP WILL RECEIVE $100,AND A $200 STIPEND FOR THEPURCHASE OF POETRY BOOKS FORTHEIR SCHOOL LIBRARY.SHELLEY KRUGER WEISBERG ANDMARTY WILL BE PRESENTING THEAWARDS TO OUR WINNER.NOW THE MOMENT WE’RE WAITINGFOR.OUR SECOND RUNNER UP IS CHARISMAHENRY FROM W.T. WOODSON HIGHSCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>ALL RIGHT.OUR FIRST RUNNER UP IS ALLANAYOO FROM ST. CATHARINES COOL,WHICH MEANS THE WINNER OF THEVIRGINIA FINALS IS JESSICAHOWARD FROM ROCK RIDGE HIGHSCHOOL.[APPLAUSE]>>CONGRATULATIONS JESSICA.[APPLAUSE]>>CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND TOALL WHO HAVE SUPPORTED YOUTHROUGH YOUR POETRY OUT LOUDJOURNEY.WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THEVIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THEARTS, THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OFTHE ARTS, AND THE NATIONALPOETRY FOUNDATION FOR THEIRSUPPORT.WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK BILL ANDCAROLYN.MANY THANKS GOES TO HOSTING THEVIRGINIA FINALS.THANK YOU.[APPLAUSE]>>EVERYONE HERE WAS SO TALENTEDAND DID SUCH A GREAT JOB AND YOUCAN SEE ALL THE WORK THATEVERYONE PUT IN TO EVERYTHING,AND I WAS VERY SHOCKED WHEN THEYSAID I WON.I WAS JUST REALLY HONORED WHENTHE JUDGE SAW THE WORK I PUT INAND THEY LIKED IT.>>I THOUGHT MUSIC IS LIKEPOETRY.>>IT’S AMAZING TO SEE HER MAKETHAT TRANSFORMATION.AS SHE WAS GROWING UP, A LOT OFTHE MUSIC THAT WE WOULD PLAY INTHE HOUSE, MORE SO, THE R & B,THE SONGS OF THE LATE 70s, EARLY80s.♪ IN MISSISSIPPI ♪♪ SURROUNDED BY A WORLD ♪>>I THINK THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL ANDIMPACTFUL.EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT IN A CERTAINSITUATION, GOOD MUSIC LIKE GOODPOETRY WILL MAKE YOU FEEL LIKEYOU’RE IN THAT SITUATION.POETRY IS LIKE A STEP, YOU KNOW,THE NEXT STEP FOR MUSIC, OR LIKEMUSIC IS THE NEXT STEP FORPOETRY.IF YOU DO ONE, I THINK YOUINEVITABLY DO THE OTHER.THIS PROCESS HAS GIVEN ME THENEW APPRECIATION AND THIS NEWLOVE FOR LITERATURE AND POETRY,AND WORDS.>>LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXTSTEP, THE NEXT LEVEL AND SEE HOWSHE PERFORMS THERE.>>ONE OF THE THINGS I’M MOSTEXCITED IS TO MEET PEOPLE FROMNEW YORK, MAINE, AND WYOMING.I DON’T KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLEFROM WYOMING, TO GET DIFFERENTPERSPECTIVE.EVEN IF THEY HAVE THE SAME POEMI DO, TO SEE THEIRINTERPRETATION OF THE POEM.[♪♪♪][♪♪♪]CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:
CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC
WWW.CAPTIONASSOCIATES.COM>>THIS BROADCAST IS BROUGHT TOYOU BY CAROLYN AND BILL PAULLETAND THE COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS,FOR DISTRIBUTING FUNDING FORNOT-FOR-PROFIT ARTORGANIZATIONS, EDUCATIONINSTITUTIONS, EDUCATORS,ARTISTS, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.[♪♪♪]

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