When Amanda Gorman recited an emotional piece – The Hill We Climb – at the inauguration of president Joe Biden, art fortified its place in history as the glue that binds people together. Many artists – including art students studying poetry – felt seen and this can only mean the continuation of something beautiful. Over the last few years, poetry competitions have taken a more serious stance with participants ranging from college students to artists of the spoken word who have performed in various places.

Poems are not simple pieces of writing as we have come to learn through various spoken words. To fully appreciate the force that is poetry, any student needs to understand the references used in poems and origins of the author themselves. To appreciate this subtle art, you want to read more frequently about it. Poetry essays found at https://artscolumbia.org/free-essays/poetry/ will help you when you are in need. Getting various perspectives on poetry helps students become better at analyzing poetry for school assignments as well as writing their own pieces.

Reading more and participating in online literary salons enrich your knowledge of the topic and makes you a better poet. As you get better, you may want to publish your work or present it during literary readings and competitions. It is a nice way of paying-it-forward while opening yourself up for positive criticism.

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Poetry Out Loud – POL – in Maryland

The National Endowment for the Arts collaborated with the Poetry Foundation in 2005 to start a forum where students throughout Maryland and the rest of the US can participate in poetry. They get to rehearse, memorize, and compete against others in the nation, effectively creating space to get better at this art while angling for prizes.  So far, there have been over 4 million participants of POL.

POL 2020-21

Due to the pandemic, POL performances this year will be held virtually. This competition is an important part of the educational process and cultural development in Maryland. Performers of long and short poems, educators, and community organizers are encouraged to register for the competition. Since it happens virtually, as most schools choose to develop educational processes remotely, creativity is encouraged and this would be the best chance to show what one can do within the digital space.

There will be two virtual regional competitions where 24 students will show their skills at poetry for a chance to participate in the Maryland State Competition held later in March. Renowned judges will be at the March competition to ensure only the best are awarded in a competition expected to showcase some of the best in the state. These judges include Ali Oliver-Krueger, Arao Ameny, Desiree Witt, Grace Cavalieri, and Jeff Smallwood. Interested parties will benefit from knowing there are Masterclasses for poetry where they get to learn from some of the best, especially on tricks to powerful recitals.

Why is Poetry Important?

Poetry is the subtle education we get when we least expect it. When reading a piece slowly to understand, you get the hidden meaning that may not jolt you immediately but drives a point home that makes you examine your ways. Apart from that poetry develops creative and analytical thinking, which in turn allows students to improve writing skills and spend less time on essays. For most students, poetry might seem to be a challenging and time-consuming process but it provides many benefits to engaged learners.

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Good for Learning

When you start writing poems, you wake up to the need to string your words together. The creative lessons that come from learning to rhyme words open up a whole world where you become more observant and keener on letters that form words. It also expands your vocabulary.

The Subtle Art of Speaking Softly

Recitals call for an assertive yet soft delivery and you get to learn with practice. Through class assignments and frequent recitals at such avenues as POL, you get to interact with others who enrich your knowledge of the art. Though many people only see this skill as a way to deliver emotional poems to listeners at set avenues, they do come in handy in other areas of life. You become a better speaker and more persuasive when you talk to your peers.

Improves Creativity

Poetry demands creative pieces that address real issues in life, and so they teach one to say something without being forceful about it. Issues of race, sexuality, activism, and feminism that may usually be quite sensitive are easier to address when you put them in a palatable poem. Since you are constantly thinking up ways to say things differently, you are tasked to get those creative juices flowing.

Don’t Sleep on this Information

If you are in school at any of the institutions within Maryland that can participate in POL this year, you want to go ahead and register already. This competition brings together a lot of talent that may change the course of your academic year. Try it.


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