Malholtra named winner in ‘Poetry Out Loud’ competition


Gazebo Photo by Anna Mincey

Senior Sean Malholtra won the ‘Poetry Out Loud’ competition on Jan. 23-24 in the Henry Tift FIne Arts Auditorium

Senior Sean Malhotra was named the winner of Stratford’s annual Poetry Out Loud competition on Friday in the Henry Tift Fine Arts auditorium. He performed “Hysteria” by Dionisio Martinez.

Sean was one of four finalists. The others were senior Tomi Sogade, senior Kieran MacKinnon, and sophomore James Burrell.

“It felt great to win. I like to recite poetry, and it was fun to compete against my peers,” Sean said. “Walking up to the stage for the first time was pretty nerve-racking, but I swallowed my doubt and just recited the poem.”

Sean will advance to the regional competition in McRae, Georgia, on February 15th.

Other competitors were senior Matt Newberry, senior Abby Ellison, senior Neely Shah, senior Adam Kacsoh, sophomore Varnika Guduri, sophomore Meghana Vemuri, and freshman Jacob Groover.

This year’s judging panel consisted of Mrs. April Bacon, Mrs. Theresa Ferrari, Mrs. Michelle Fleming, Ms. Stuart Hubbard, and Dr. Tom Lolis.

The contest is hosted by Stratford’s Poetry Out Loud advisor and Sophomore English teacher Mrs. Susan Lolis. The competition began nationally in 2006, and as of this year, Stratford will have hosted it for a decade.

“It is such an honor to garner a passion for poetry within young students,” Mrs. Lolis said. “All of the students that competed did a wonderful job, and I’m looking forward to next year’s competition.”