Poetry contest

BCHS junior will participate in the final of the national poetry competition

Congratulations to Pamela White! The BCHS junior is one of the few students nationwide to compete for $50,000 in prize money at the 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in June.

On Sunday, May 1, Pamela qualified for the final round after a top-notch performance in the semi-finals of the poetry recitation contest. A total of 54 students representing every state in the country as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands started the semi-final, each reciting two poems. White chose Carl Dennis’ “Candles” Roisin Kelly’s “Oranges” for his recitations.

Only nine competitors earned the right to advance to the National Finals, including White, the New York State Poetry Out Loud champion.

What began in November as class work will culminate on Sunday, June 5 at the national championship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The national winner will receive $20,000 and the nine students will walk away with at least $1,000. Poet, editor and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander will host the virtual event which will include poetry recitations by each of the finalists and the announcement of the national champion.

English teacher Andrew Rickert, who brought Poetry Out Loud to Bethlehem in 2018 and has made it an annual tradition every year since, had this to say about Pamela White’s success at the prestigious poetry recitation contest:

“It has been a joy to have witnessed Pam’s rise through all four rounds of POL this year. From school competition to regionals to states and then to the national semi-finals. It has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort. dedication on her part, which I commend her for,” Rickert said. “Advancing beyond the national semifinal really cements her talent as one of the best in the country. She’s very modest and might not want to see it that way, but the truth is, she’s outlasted dozens of state champions and tens of thousands of competitors nationally. She’s a bit of a big deal.