Galloway is Poetry Out Loud champ

Seven Farragut High School students put their poetic recitation skills to the test as part of the schoolwide 2023-04 Poetry Out Loud competition, with senior Andrea Galloway winning the championship.

“I feel pretty good about winning,” said Galloway, daughter of Kellie and Nick Galloway. “I worked really hard, and I have been really passionate about this competition.

“I actually would record myself and play it in my car, so … every time I drive, I rehearsed,” the senior added.

The first-place winner goes on to compete in the state finals March 1-2, in Nashville. The winner of the state competition then competes in the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Galloway, who received $100 for first place, recited “Epilogue” by Robert Browning for Round 1 and “Nowhere Else to Go” by Linda Sue Park in Round 2. She currently is serving as Future Farmers of America East Tennessee region president and FHS chapter president.

The champ said she enjoys all things agriculture, helping on her family farm and enjoys competing in public speaking.

Haden Toon, a junior, earned second place and will compete in the state competition if Galloway is unable. Tiyanna Dudley, captured third place.

Toon, who recited “Zoom” by Simon Armitage and “The Definition of Love” by Andrew Marvell, respectively, is a member of the Admiral Performing Arts Company, Model United Nations, Key Club and National Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, volunteering with Teen Board of Knoxville and acting in community theater productions for such companies as Oak Ridge Playhouse.

As Toon has a passion for debate, acting and public speaking, when he heard about Poetry Out Loud, he “knew it was the perfect opportunity.”

Dudley is an active member of DECA, APAC, Creative Writing Club, NHS and more. She recited “Another One of the World’s Liars” by Mohja Kahf in Round 1 and “Broken Promises” in Round 2.

Other competitors were Nicholas Thomas, a junior, who recited “Awakening” by Maya Angelou and “After the Dinner Party” by Adrienne Su; Kathleen Cook, a senior, recited “Of Molluscs” by May Sarton and “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood; Jaden McChristian, a senior, performed “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser and “So This Is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser; and Rashim Rasheed, a senior, recited “The Destruction of Sennacherib” by Lord Byron and “God’s Grandeur” by Gerald Manley Hopkins.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition sponsored by National Endowment of the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and various state/jurisdictional arts agencies.

The program began in 2005 to promote an appreciation for poetry, and since then, more than 4.2 million students have participated, according to a Poetry Out Loud press release.