Several high school students from across Johnston County recently participated in the district-wide Poetry Out Loud and Original Poetry competitions at the Johnston County Public Library in Smithfield.
The Poetry Out Loud competition, presented in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The Original Poetry competition is a county based competition scored on poetic elements, theme and grammar and mechanics.
The winner of this year’s competition was Noah Kiser, a senior at Smithfield-Selma High School. Kiser will advance to North Carolina’s state competition on March 5, at the Greensboro Public Library in Greensboro.
The runner-up was Abigail Barajas, a senior at Johnston County Early College Academy. Also participating in the district competition were North Johnston’s Olivia Padgett and West Johnston’s Brittany Wortham.
In the Original Poetry competition Hannah Prosser, a student at Johnston County Middle College High School, took home the first place honors with her poem “An Everlasting Melodious Presence.”
Other students participating in the event were Johnston County Early College’s James Daniels and Smithfield-Selma’s Noah Kiser.
The Johnston County competition was held on Jan. 21, and the winner will advance to the North Carolina State contest on Saturday, March 5, in Greensboro. 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, May 2-4, 2016. The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.