NEW MADRID - Poet Audre Lourde wrote those words. New Madrid County Central High School Senior Mariah Griggs lives them.
Griggs used the words of three poets to challenge herself and earn a spot in the Poetry Out Loud state finals where, although she didn't win, she found that she could compete with some of Missouri's best young speakers.
As a freshman, Griggs entered her first Poetry Out Loud competition at NMCC. Even then she proved to be a formidable competitor, earning second place in the school event.
Her sophomore year, she again placed second in the school's competition. Griggs said she didn't bother to compete her junior year.
"I should have" said Griggs. "I regretted not doing it because poetry is something I'm very passionate about. When I recite poetry I am able to express who I am."
This year her passion earned her not only top honors in the school but also at regionals at Cape Girardeau, which qualified her for state competition.
For the Poetry Out Loud event, students are given a list of poems from which to choose. At Central, students compete by reciting one poem with the winner reciting two poems at the district competition. For the state event, each competitor presents three poems for the judges.
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