SRQ Studios Hosts Poetry Out Loud with NewGate School

Poetry Out Loud judges and NewGate faculty with Dylan Caruso (Center Left) and Ben Bogard (Center Right).

Poetry Out Loud judges and NewGate faculty with Dylan Caruso (Center Left) and Ben Bogard (Center Right). Photo credit: Evan Sigmund


Today, SRQ Studios were filled with poetry and applause. Students from NewGate School participated in Poetry Out Loud, a nation-wide poetry recitation competition supported by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. NewGate students in grades 9-12 participated in this year’s program.

The goal is to teach students about poetry by fostering a relationship with poems. Amy Kremer, English Teacher at NewGate shared the classroom preparation that takes place prior to the competition. “Each student selects two poems from thousands on their website. We love that the students make 100% of the choice in their selection. Rather than going through each one, we encourage the students to really understand the meanings of the poems when making their choice. This is a great program because the students begin to encourage each other. That’s a cool thing to see with teenagers.”

NewGate student recites "The Conqueror Worm" by Edgar Allen Poe.

NewGate student Jaime Rishi recites “The Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allen Poe.

When asking a few students why they chose their selection, they each responded with great though. “I chose ‘The End of Science Fiction’ by Lisel Mueller because I disagree with it. I love sci-fi and reciting it created a mental controversy for me,” said Evelyn BaldwinPaige Mantone walked us through her preparation for today’s competition, “I spent my winter break with my poems. After winter break, I read them every night for half an hour.”

NewGate teacher Amy Kremer congratulates Dylan Caruso for winning the Poetry Out Loud competition.

NewGate teacher Amy Kremer congratulates Dylan Caruso for winning the Poetry Out Loud competition.

The competition was judged by two SRQ staff members, Phil Lederer and Shane Donglasan and Ringling College of Art and Design student Anna Babayeva. Phil Lederer elaborated on the judging process, “Judging was both more difficult and more rewarding than I anticipated. And while I was impressed by the student’s poise and preparation, perhaps the most memorable aspect was the air of excited cooperation in the room. They were in competition, but still all in it together.”

Dylan Caruso won first place in today’s competition for his recitation of “Bereavement” by William Lisle Bowles and “Broken Promises” by David Kirby. He will represent NewGate as he advances to Tallahassee for the state competition on February 28th. There he will be prepared to recite three poems. “It is nerve wracking, but I’m feeling excited. I’ve been working on this for three years. My first  year, I didn’t know my second poem. Last year I was the runner-up, but I’m glad that I finally did it.” Congratulations to Ben Bogard for being selected as this year’s runner-up.

On behalf of the SRQ Team, congratulations to all contestants! You have inspired us to take a few moments to enjoy a poem today.

For more information about NewGate School and their initiatives, click here. If you, too, are inspired to read a poem today, check out the Poetry Out Loud website and enjoy a few stanzas. To view a photo gallery from Poetry Out Loud at SRQ Studios, click here.

If you would like to book the SRQ Studios for a performance, corporate summit or event, contact Mary Darby Guidroz at 941-365-7702 x221. 

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