At Holderness, students participate annually in the national poetry recitation contest, . Students study poetry in their English classes, select poems they appreciate and love, and commit them to memory. Then they recite their poem for their classmates. 1-2 students are selected from each English class to move on to the semi-final round of the competition. 8 students are then selected to participate in our campus finals. In classrooms, our Chapel, and, finally, in Hagerman Hall, Holderness students bring to life the works of poets including Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Nick Flynn, Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, and many more.
Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, which encourages high school students to learn poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking, hone their listening abilities, build self-confidence, and appreciate poetry through performance. After our school-wide rounds, the selected Holderness student moves on to a regional and/or state competitions, and ultimately to the national finals.
Along the way, students are coached by their English teachers and other educators in the community who offer support as these students also learn the art of interpreting literature through performance.