BELT — Belt Public School junior Brady Drummond is representing Montana in the national Poetry Out Loud semi-finals.
Drummond was confident about her entries. "There are three poems I had to memorize. The first one has to be pre-20th century, one has to be 25 lines or fewer, and then the other one is just free choice,” Drummond explained.
The winner of the state-level Poetry Out Loud competition in each state gets to represent their state in the national competition. "Knowing that I'm representing the whole state and not just our school is super cool. The fact that it's on a national level and that I'm going to be intersourced with all these other people from states all over the country is super cool,” Drummond said.
This is her third time participating in the national Poetry Out Loud competition but her first time reaching the national level.
"It's pretty astounding,” Belt Public School English teacher Jeff Ross said, who got the school involved in the national Poetry Out Loud program. "The students have taken to this opportunity really well, a lot better than i thought they would when we first started about three years ago,” said Ross.
He wishes more schools would get involved. "I think people don't understand how creative the recitations can be in themselves,” Ross said.
Drummond said if she gets to the finals and wins, she'll likely use the $20,000 prize to pay for college. She planned to be a business major, but said she's not going to completely give up her love for poetry. "Poetry is something that just really resonates with me and I can express myself with,” Drummond said.
The Poetry Out Loud national semi-finals will be held virtually May 2. The finals will be held May 27. Click here to visit the website.