Zelle advances to state Poetry Out Loud competition

Senior+Mira+Zelle+will+compete+in+the+state+final+Poetry+Out+Loud+competition+on+March+8.

Mimi Geller

Senior Mira Zelle will compete in the state final Poetry Out Loud competition on March 8.

Poetry lovers gather to hear poems by students who have practiced reading out loud for months. Students and teachers from all over the state wait in the Loft Literary Center for the performers’ recitations.

On Mar. 7, St. Paul Academy and Summit School students Mira Zelle and Elise Parsons took part in the Minnesota Semi-Final Poetry Out Loud competition at The Loft in Minneapolis. Zelle moved on to the state finals, which will be held on March 8 at 5 pm also at The Loft.

Zelle recited Semblance: Screens by Liz Waldner and Ode to the Midwest by Kevin Young.

I’m equally excited that our students can experience other ways of interpreting and reciting poetry”

— US English Teacher Philip de Sa e Silva

Parsons recited Video Blues by Mary Jo Salter and Testimonial by Rita Dove.

Philip de Sa e Silva, the advisor to SPA’s Poetry Out Loud competitors, shares why he is passionate about this competition.

“The state Poetry Out Loud competition is perhaps my favorite event of the year because it shows how widely poetry is loved and appreciated,” de Sa e Silva said.

Poetry Out Loud brought people from many different places and backgrounds to one place based on their shared love of poetry.

“Every year, we hear recitations from students who have just moved to the US and are still learning English and we hear recitations from people who drove hours in order to be present. It’s a wonderful thing,” de Sa e Silva said.

However, it’s not just about competing.

“I’m equally excited that our students can experience other ways of interpreting and reciting poetry,” de Sa e Silva said.

Update: On Mar. 8, Zelle placed in the top six at the state finals