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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Junior places first in regional poetry recitation competition

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Midway Staff
On Feb. 7, junior Ainsley Williams placed first in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. 

On Feb. 7, junior Ainsley Williams placed first in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. 

Poetry Out Loud is a national organization dedicated to supporting poetry enthusiasts through free educational materials and recitation competitions across the United States. 

Students memorized one or more poems to recite. Ainsley chose “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, two poems she found very impactful. 

“‘The Second Coming’ is a pretty nihilistic view of war, hopeless, it’s a really sad poem, but the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ is very optimistic and hopeful,” Ainsley said. “I thought that the two conflicting themes were very powerful, and I really liked the history behind them.”

Ainsley emphasized the importance of these events, especially as the literary arts are not commonly seen as an area for competition. 

“The humanities are so underappreciated, especially in competitions,” Ainsley said. “I see math competitions, science competitions, but the creative arts don’t really have that outlet, so I think being able to get together and share our love for poetry with other people is just so important.”

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About the Contributor
Sinziana Lazar
Sinziana Lazar, Reporter
Sinziana Lazar is a member of the Class of 2027. She began journalism in 2023 as a ninth grader. She plays violin in CYSO and is a member of the Robotics and Model UN teams.

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