Poetry In Voice

Poetry in Voice is a national poetry recitation contest for high school students across Canada. Students memorise and then recite poems from among the hundreds in an online anthology. Students who win the school competition vie for a spot at the National Finals, to be held in Toronto this year. More than $75 000 in prizes, trips and books are awarded each year.

Additional details may be found at the Poetry in Voice website: www.poetryinvoice.com.

Poetry in Voice provides an important opportunity for students to engage with famous poems from across the centuries, across cultures, and across genres.  A lot of students, for whatever reason, seem to have almost a fear of poetry.  Which is a shame, frankly.

As writer John Lundberg noted in a posting to The Huffington Post…  poetry is “a record of some of civilization’s greatest writers–and wisest people–taking on the questions and emotions that define us.”  Poems are great works of literature and students need to be nudged into developing a passion for poems.

Poets address issues – large and small – in a fundamentally different way than  does the author of a short story or a novel.  The poem, by virtue of it’s structure, is much more intense, a more visceral experience.

Lastly, poetry recitation provides students with yet another performance opportunity.  The technical demands – and constraints – of the recitation process give students yet another set of skills to pack away in their bag of tricks to take forward into their future.

ESA has a strong history with Poetry in Voice.

  • In 2012, Sadie Anne Hirschfeld won the Ontario Division finals and went on to the National Finals in Toronto.
  • In 2014, Ian Hogeboom-Burr made it through the to final round of the National Finals in Vancouver…  and ended up placing second in Canada.

You can find videos of each of their performances on the Poetry in Voice website (under the Video tab).  Take a peak.  They’re pretty impressive.  We’re hoping to send another student through to the finals again this year!

This year, February 2016, we are especially delighted to have both Michael Boughn and Jay Millar join us as part of our judging panel. Students will have an opportunity to talk about poetry with two of Canada’s better known published poets.

Join us in the Library after school on Tuesday February 16th.