JOE LLOYD, Benton City
I was delighted to serve as an emcee for the third annual Poetry Out Loud contest at our high school in Benton City on Dec. 6. Thirteen of our high school students recited poems they had practiced not only word-for-word but with such great emotion and feeling that the audience was truly captivated. We were transformed with the Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall, moved with compassion by the War Widow by Chris Abani, and taught by Bent to Earth by Blas Manuel DeLuna.
All of the contestants performed admirably and are to be commended. Moreover, the two selected to represent our school, Kaitlyn Jackson and Ivan Martinez genuinely entranced us as they gave their interpretations of A Song for the Front Yard by Gwendolyn Brooks and It would be neat if with the New Year by Jimmy Santiago Baca respectively.
With all of negative attention that Kiona-Benton has received in the press lately, it's nice to know we are not broken and with our parents, produce some of the most outstanding students in our area. I am convinced that each of the thirteen participants have a bright future in store for them.