02-21 COM Poetry Out Loud
Lawrence Major III, Kelly Hayes, and Sierra McIntyre of Belmont High School, finalists in the Poetry Out Loud competition, await the results from the judges. (Courtesy photo)
BELMONT — Kelly Hayes, a senior at Belmont High School, will be representing the school and her chapter of the National English Honor Society at the regional Poetry Out Loud competition on Feb. 21. Hayes won the school-wide competition with a memorized recitation of two poems during an event Jan. 9 in the high school library. Participants were required to perform two poems from memory and be evaluated against a series of criteria, including word-perfect recitation.  

In the contest, Hayes won with performances of 'For My Daughter' by Weldon Kees, and 'An Apology for Her Poetry' by Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish. She will have to memorize a third poem for the regional competition, to be held at Jean's Playhouse in Lincoln on Feb. 21. Lawrence Major III, a junior, will be her alternate in the competition.
Winners of the regional competition will advance to the state recitation competition on March 15, at the State House in Concord. Each champion at the state level will receive $200, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete for the national championship. The school the state champion attends will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 awarded to his or her school library.

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