Poetry Out Loud


Elisha Langevin, Senior Editor

On Thursday, January 17th Goffstown High School hosted its annual Poetry Out Loud Competition in the school’s Hieber Theater. De Etienne, a 2015 GHS graduate and National Poetry Out Loud Finalist, served as emcee. Ten contestants were selected from classroom winners to participate in the schoolwide competition. These contestants included: Justin Scott Kaminski, Jelina Trost, Catherine Wentz, Marion Murray, Gavin Palmer, Jenna Thibault, Elisha Langevin, Patrick Mannion, Cheyenne Isaia, and Jenna Tschida.

Every single performer was well versed and confident during their time on stage. Before approaching the stage, every performer received encouragement from their peer competitors in the form of high fives and cheers. The comradery was obvious. Gavin Palmer,
a freshman contestant feels, “the Poetry Out Loud competition [is] a great learning experience…and [he] can’t wait to participate again next year!”

The judges included: Sherry Hieber, a former Goffstown resident and lead judge; Summer Whitmore a Goffstown High School teacher and judge; Beth McDermott a Dunbarton resident and judge; Curt McDermott a Goffstown High School teacher and accuracy judge, and Jess Brown a Goffstown High School teacher who served as the tabulator.

While scores were calculated, De Etienne performed one of his own original slam poems, captivating the audience with a stunning performance. Gavin said De’s words were “so powerful and influential.”

Aubrey Bird, a GHS senior who attended Poetry Out Loud to support her peers stated, “With the different presentation styles of each poem and each of the poem’s unique subjects, there was never a dull minute. The performers really seemed to embrace his or her poem. It made it a very engaging experience because I was always looking for and noticing each stance, gesture, or change in tempo or volume of speech that the poet did to bring out the true meaning and emotion of their poem.”

After scores were calculated, the winners were announced as Patrick Mannion in third place, Jenna Thibault in second place, and Catherine Wentz as the first place winner. Catherine will represent Goffstown in the regional competition at New England College on March 5th.