Sameayah Pehlke (pictured above on left), a student at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, and Emelie Pennington-Davis of Trout Lake School, Trout Lake School District, claimed the top two regional spots in the Feb. 3 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, hosted by Educational Service District 112.

Pehlke and Pennington-Davis competed against eight other students from throughout Southwest Washington, including Skyview High School’s Joseph Lane. Students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 700 classic and contemporary poems.  Pehlke performed “Testimonial” by Rita Dove and “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou. Judges evaluated the performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty and accuracy.

Next, Pehlke and Pennington-Davis will compete in the statewide competition in March.

The competition, presented in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.