EASTCONN Where Learning Comes to Life

ACT Student Places Top 5 in State Poetry Contest

Grace Ellis copy

Willimantic CT, March 27, 2018 - A student at EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) magnet high school has placed among the top 5 in the final round of Connecticut’s 13th Annual Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Thirty-two students were selected from across Connecticut to participate in the state finals.

ACT senior Grace Ellis of Norwich, captivated the audience on March 3, 2018, at Manchester Community College with her recital of “To the Notebook Kid” by Eve L. Ewing, “Ode to the Electric Fish” by Thomas Lux and “Invitation to Love” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Ellis majors in Creative Writing at ACT.

Poetry Out Loud, a program of the Connecticut Office of the Arts, is a national recitation competition that encourages youth to learn about stylistic choices from poets. Through their performance, students begin to understand and appreciate the art of poetry.

“Through this competition, I’ve learned to overcome my anxiety about memorization and have been able to learn about new methods of writing and writers,” said Ellis. “I’ve let myself open up to the work and to helping my classmates, and also met other artists and poets who devoted their time and energy to their memorization.”

“One of the skills that defines students’ success in Poetry Out Loud is the ability to communicate the nuances of tone in any particular piece,” said ACT Creative Writing teacher John Wetmore. “A successful poet herself, Grace always impressed me with her understanding of turning points in the poems she chose to recite—how the poets juggle different emotions like joy and despair, or silliness and austerity in their work.”

ACT, a performing arts magnet high school, has limited seats remaining for academically motivated students who will enter grades 9-12 in the 2018-2019 school year. Students have daily access to creative experiences through a rigorous curriculum that integrates the performing arts with more traditional academic high school subjects. Visit www.eastconn.org/act to learn more or download an application.

EASTCONN, which administers ACT, is a public, non-profit Regional Educational Service Center that has been serving the education needs of northeastern Connecticut schools and communities since 1980. Learn more at www.eastconn.org.