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Wulff-Andersen to compete at state poetry competition

Teacher+Elise+Tobin%2C+right%2C+stands+with+winner+Viktoria+Wulff-Andersen%2C+center%2C+and+runner-up+Umama+Mufti.+Wulff-Andersen+will+go+on+to+compete+at+the+Connecticut+State+Finals+on+March+9.
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Wulff-Andersen to compete at state poetry competition

Teacher Elise Tobin, right, stands with winner Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, center, and runner-up Umama Mufti. Wulff-Andersen will go on to compete at the Connecticut State Finals on March 9.

Teacher Elise Tobin, right, stands with winner Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, center, and runner-up Umama Mufti. Wulff-Andersen will go on to compete at the Connecticut State Finals on March 9.

Jenna Coladarci

Teacher Elise Tobin, right, stands with winner Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, center, and runner-up Umama Mufti. Wulff-Andersen will go on to compete at the Connecticut State Finals on March 9.

Jenna Coladarci

Jenna Coladarci

Teacher Elise Tobin, right, stands with winner Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, center, and runner-up Umama Mufti. Wulff-Andersen will go on to compete at the Connecticut State Finals on March 9.

Jenna Coladarci, Staff Writer

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Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, sophomore, captivated her audience as she recited Caroline Bird’s “Megan Married Herself” at the finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition earlier this month. She was named the winner and will go on to compete at the Connecticut State Finals on March 9.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition that is run by the National Endowment for the Arts. High schools pick a representative to compete at the state competition and, from there, a representative is chosen to compete nationally at George Washington University in Washington D.C., from April 30-May 1 for a chance to win $20,000.

Since its introduction three years ago by English teacher Elise Tobin, the contest has been well-met at DHS.

“I think that it’s been successful because it is a unique program and gives students the opportunity to be themselves and put their own spin on something that is not their own writing,” said Tobin, herself a published poet.

The program has also garnered attention from another English teacher, Casey Hanrahan. This year, she has made participation a requirement for her Creative Writing I class; Tobin ran it as her Honors extension. Both had mini competitions in their classes and then invited their top performers to compete at the finals.

Between Hanrahan’s and Tobin’s classes, there were about 75 students overall with six final competitors. In addition to Wulff-Andersen, seniors Cassandra Lanson and Musa Masood, and sophomores Gianna Iaquinto, Grace Seibert, and Umama Mufti, placed.

The competitors were tasked with picking a published poem from the National Endowment for the Arts website and then reciting the poem from memory. They were then judged on a scale of 1-6 in their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance.

Wulff-Andersen scored the highest, and Mufti finished as runner-up with her recitation of “A Song in the Front Yard” by Gwendolyn Brooks.

Wulff-Andersen, who works for the Hatters’ Herald, the yearbook and the Nutmegger, was  excited to win the DHS finals. “Competing in the Connecticut State Finals presents me a unique opportunity to show off my theatrical and public speaking skills,” she said.

At the Connecticut State Finals she is going to perform her winning piece “Megan Married Herself,” Emily Dickinson’s  “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” and Arthur Rimbaud’s “The Seekers of Lice.”

Though Wulff-Andersen said her strengths while reciting poetry are clarity, annunciation, confident presence, and her ability to captivate her audience by varying volume, she thinks her weakness is physical presence. “I don’t know where to place my hands. I need to figure out when using my hands is necessary,” she said.

To prepare for the Connecticut State Finals she is going to use the same process she used the first time: “I’m going to memorize and read aloud the poems first. Then I am going to recite it in front of my family and friends and get comfortable with it. The more I practice the more comfortable I get.”

 

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About the Writer
Jenna Coladarci, Staff Writer

This is my fourth year writing for The Hatters’ Herald. I joined the Hatters’ Herald because I love writing and I am always looking for places where...

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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800
Wulff-Andersen to compete at state poetry competition