Alex Stefanis repeats as ‘Poetry Out Loud’ winner

Senior Alex Stefanis recites the poem

Gazebo Photo by Caris Weinberg

Senior Alex Stefanis recites the poem "What Women Are Made Of" during the finals

Senior Alex Stefanis won Stratford’s “Poetry Out Loud” for the second consecutive year.

The competition was held Jan. 15-18 in the Henry Tift Fine Arts Auditorium.

Former English teacher, Mrs. Lindsey Stevens, brought the Poetry Out Loud to Stratford in 2006.  Sophomore English teacher, Mrs. Susan Lolis has directed the program for the past three years.  She believes that Poetry Out Loud has had a healthy history at Stratford.

“[Its purpose] is to celebrate people’s exploring poems that they haven’t been exposed to before,” Mrs. Lolis said.

Four finalists were chosen on Tuesday —  seniors Sai Pagadala and Alex Stefanis, junior Tomi Sogade, and sophomore Miller Cranford.

Other first-round contestants were seniors Carter Atkinson, Maggie Fuchs, Kenzie Muenzer, Benjamin Jorgensen, and Cap Patel,  and sophomores Maddie Fackler and Sarah Pyles.

Mrs. Lolis said she wishes she could chose more than one contestant to take to regionals and state, but she enjoys traveling with them.  

Judges graded the contestants on a  clear understanding of the poem, hand gestures when needed, eye contact, and voice articulation. This year’s diverse panel consisted of English teachers, Mrs. Lolis, AP English teacher, Mrs. Michelle Fleming, and freshman English teacher, Ms. Rachel Newman. Also judging were Senior Humanities teacher, Dr. Tom Lolis, and World Geography and AP World History teacher, Dr. Nick Ercole.

Click here to read the poem.