BY TOSHA LANCE –
Kaitlin Haines, a student at Mena High School, recently placed second at the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest on Saturday, March 1, at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. Haines competed against 30 other finalists from around the state who were judged on their ability to memorize, convey and interpret the meaning of the poems they chose. The contest encourages students to learn about great poetry and helps them master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
The 30 students competing were selected as the recitation champions of their respective high schools. Contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 400 classic and contemporary poems. Reciting “On Monsieur’s Departure” by Queen Elizabeth I, “They Are Hostile Nations” by Margaret Atwood and “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks, Haines received a cash prize and $200 towards poetry books for her school. Haines, who is a sophomore at Mena High School, but has advanced on to take Junior level courses; plays trombone in the Bearcat band, is a member of NHS, the Sci-Fi club and Ladycat Soccer Team.