MMI senior Benjamin Putnam captured the School’s Poetry Out Loud contest and will advance to the regional competition, which will be held in December at the WVIA Studios in Pittston. The regional winner will move on to the state competition in March.

Putnam, the son of Benjamin and Andrea Putnam of Sugarloaf, recited the poems “Flaxman” by Margaret Fuller and “Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin.

Freshman Jillian McGeehin, the daughter of Larry and Amy McGeehin of Sugarloaf, and junior Samantha Sparich, the daughter of Joseph and Michele Sparich of Weatherly, also finished in the top three in MMI’s competition. McGeehin recited “Song for the People” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and “I am the People, The Mob” by Carl Sandburg. Sparich recited “The Author to her Book” by Anne Bradstreet and “Helen” by H.D. Senior Katharine Pinto, the daughter of Karen Pinto of Mountaintop, recited “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley and “Un Tintero,” Inkwell by Desirée Alvarez. Junior Emily Ryan, the daughter of Sam and Susan Ryan of White Haven, also participated in the competition by reciting “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand and “April Love” by Ernest Dowson.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

PICTURED: MMI senior Benjamin Putnam, second from the right, captured the School’s Poetry Out Loud contest and will advance to the regional competition. Also pictured are, from left: top three finishers Samantha Sparich and Jillian McGeehin and Jennifer Novotney, Poetry Out Loud advisor.