Nipomo teen heads to state poetry competition

February 8, 2013 

Jenna Clift of Nipomo won the regional Poetry Out Loud competition Wednesday.

DAVID JANG

Nipomo High School sophomore Jenna Clift won the regional Poetry Out Loud competition on Wednesday night and will move on to the state competition in March.

Clift recited “Hysteria” by Dionisio D. Martinez and “I am the People, the Mob” by Carl Sandburg to beat the seven other student competitors from across the county.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition in which students perform two to three poems and are judged on presence, voice, level of difficulty and evidence of understanding.

Students first compete at a classroom level and winners from each class move to a schoolwide competition. From there, the school winners are sent to the regional or county competition. The San Luis Obispo competition was organized by the ARTS Obispo program and included eight county schools.

Arroyo Grande, Mission Prep, Morro Bay, Nipomo, North County Christian, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo high schools sent students to the regional competition.

ARTS Obispo program Director Jenna Hartzell said this year’s competition was “one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

“They all did amazing,” she said. “The caliber of performances was the best ever. The judges had a very hard time judging who would win.”

Clift will now move on to the state competition in Sacramento. At the event, which takes place March 24 and 25, Clift will compete with other regional winners from across the state for the chance to attend the national competition in Washington, D.C.

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