By: Jackie Kovalcin

CATS Academy Boston’s second-annual Poetry Out Loud competition was filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and emotion. Each student in the school recited a selected poem off of the website for their individual literature classes. The best recitation was then selected from each class and moved forward to the school-wide competition. Every recitation was impressive. It was evident that the students put effort into perfecting their memorization and tone for these poems.

I was lucky enough to have a conversation with the first-place winner of the school wide Poetry Out Loud competition. Congratulations Princewill Uhrukpe-Oghene Uviovo. Congratulations are also due to the second and third place winners Giridhar Gopalakrishnan and Anna Merzliakova.

Below is a Q&A session with Princewill.

Q: Why did you choose the poem you did?

Princewill: “I really wanted to try something different. I liked the earthy, motherly tones used in it. I liked how it talked about the deep roots within a person. I felt as though I could really use gestures and physical movement in my performance. I wanted to share the poem and its ideas with everyone.”

Q: Would you say you relate your poem of choice, “Mothering Blackness”?

Princewill: “Yes, it is something I can definitely relate to.”

Q: What did it feel like to have won first place?

Princewill: “Oh my god it was so amazing. I didn’t think I was going to win because CATS is a school of 400 students. I told myself that if I made it to the school competition, I was going to do it differently than the rest. I wanted to inspire others to do the same.”

*Check out Princewill’s winning performance on the CATS Courier website.