Blain is DHS Poetry Out Loud winner

Published 5:00 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Courtesy of Danville Schools

Senior Kirsten Blain is the Poetry Out Loud winner at Danville High School! She will be moving on to the state competition March 1.

She performed two poems for the contest, “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith, and “A Poison Tree” by William Blake.

“I really liked them. They’re both a little on the darker side, and then I have a new one I have to do for the state competition, ‘All Hallow’s Eve,’ by Dorothea Tanning.”

She did a lot of memorization with the two poems she chose, which ultimately helped her win. She channeled the emotions from the pieces into her performance of them.

About winning, she said, “I was actually very surprised, because initially I wasn’t wanting to do the competition. We were just memorizing poems for class.”
She said, “I was extremely shocked and happy that I won because I really enjoy poems. I never really did until this year, and so this is the second time that I’ve done a competition that involved poetry, and it’s just fun to see.”
Her first competition involving poetry was in the Frank X Walker Literary Festival Poetry Contest. One of the poems she submitted into the contest was an honorable mention.
“I was really happy about that, and just to see the support that I had around my poems that I wrote — it was great to see. And I just enjoyed writing them because they can be about anything.”
She got into poetry more and more, and Poetry Out Loud is helping her learn more about poetry comprehension and performance.
Blain’s plans after high school include studying middle school education at Eastern Kentucky University.
About Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program. It provides educational materials and a recitation and performance competition for high school students across the country. Winners at the state level receive a monetary award and a trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in a national competition. At the national level, there are also awards and school/organizational stipends.