By: Sasha Chernysehva

What is poetry and why do we need it? It is individual for everyone; it can be a beautiful composition of words, a meaningful narrative, or a simple leisure activity.  For me, poetry is a cure; and sometimes, when life  gets hard, I prescribe myself an hour of simply reading poetry out loud. That in my opinion, is a good reason for the CATS English department to “prescribe” for us all a Poetry Out Loud week.

During the Poetry Out Loud week at CATS every student was required  to learn a poem from the Poetry Out Loud website by heart and recite it in their English class. The winner of the internal class competitions, went to the school competition where they recited two poems. The winner of the school competition, earned the chance to participate in the state contest.

All of the students were explicitly told to choose a poem that speaks to them in some way. So even though they put an immense amount of effort into their performances, students actually enjoyed doing it. There are a couple veterans of Poetry Out Loud who merit special recognition because they successfully participated in the school contest for two or three years in a row.  Livia Qeli, was the winner of this year, with her poem “Dear Reader” by Rita Mae Reese, and Anna Merzlyakova, who earned second place last year and took the third place this year. They managed to capture the attention of the audience and show them how amazing it is to listen to poetry. As Mr. Levine would probably say: “They shared a lot of awesomeness.”

The Poetry Out Loud week was outstanding this year, and the CATS community is very proud of how much talent and potential it revealed in our students. A big thank you to all who participated, and special congratulations and good luck to Livia Qeli who will represent CATS community at the state level!