Quintal Wins Poetry Out Loud

After winning the Poetry Out Loud competition last month, Sophomore Dylan Quintal will advance to Regionals in Savannah on Feb. 22.

Quintal won the school competition by reciting Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.”

“I choose this poem because it has this very interesting mood to it that is very dark and melancholic and also because I was named after the poet who wrote it,” Quintal said.

In addition to Quintal, the other semi-finalists in the schoolwide competition were Maggie Bergmark, Asa Marshall, Stephen Mosley, Abbie Nash, Ally Parker, Asfar Rehan, Margaret Anne Rowe, and Michelle Tang.

Parker, a sophomore, made it to the semi-finals with “Revenge,” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

“I chose this poem because I love to act and I knew I would be able to have fun and really make the poem dramatic and fun,” Parker said,

This is Stratford’s fifth year participating in the Poetry Out Loud competition, which was started in 2006 and has grown nationwide at high schools across the country.

Poetry Out Loud was started at Stratford by Ms. Lindsey Stevens after she saw a TV advertisement on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

“The competition teaches students good public speaking skills, self-confidence, and challenges their mind to memorize a poem,” Stevens said.

The winner was chosen by a panel of Stratford teachers – including Ms. Stevens, Mr. Mike Kelley, Ms. Lynn Hutto, and Mr. Chance Reynolds. Ms. Michele Fleming judged omissions and mispronunciations.

Each judge filled out an evaluation, scoring the students on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, and overall performance.

If Quintal places high enough at regionals, he will continue on to State on March 8th.

Every winner on the state level earns $200 and a chance to travel to Washington, D.C., with an adult chaperone to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school also receives $500 to buy poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, and their school school gets $200 for their library. Overall, $50,000 in awards  are given to students and schools at the National Finals.