Pinecrest Student to Compete in Poetry Contest
An award-winning Pinecrest High School student will test his skill in an upcoming statewide poetry competition.
Sophomore Casey Goggin will be one of 33 high school students from across the state to compete in Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and coordinated by the North Carolina Arts Council. The program will be this Saturday in Greensboro and is free and open to the public.
A member of the Pinecrest speech and debate team, Goggin competes regularly in dramatic interpretation and prose/ poetry interpretation. The Pinehurst resident said he is excited to compete this weekend.
"I am really looking forward to competing in my first Poetry Out Loud competition," Goggin said. "In addition to the content and difficulty of the poem, we will be judged on our ability to bring the words to life. Facial expressions and tone will be judged along with clear diction and dramatic content."
Goggin favors a mix of traditional and contemporary poets.
"I really like some of the modern slam poets, particularly George Watsky," Goggin said. "But I also really like Carl Sandburg, who uses some really cool symbolism. In fact, I will be performing Sandburg's poem 'I Am the People, the Mob' at the Poetry Out Loud contest."
The program begins at 10:30 a.m. at the central branch of the Greensboro Public Library at 219 N. Church St. Three concurrent semifinals at the library and Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., will start at 11:15 a.m. Each semifinal features 11 students. Those winners move on to the finals, which begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave.
"Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into high school classrooms," said Libby Carter, Pinecrest High School teacher and district coordinator for Poetry Out Loud in Moore County Schools.
"Through the program, students can master public speaking skills, increase reading comprehension scores, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage."
Carter, who ran the school poetry tournament at Pinecrest, said she was impressed by Goggin's talent.
"Casey is going to do a fantastic job as a representative for Pinecrest," she said. "He has a feel for poetry that few students share. I have no doubt that he will be the winner."
A special part of the event will be a poetry sampler by the judges, all members of North Carolina's literary community. These professional writers will recite the works of their favorite poets along with their own work. Semifinal judges include Rodrigo Dorfman, Krista Bremer, Anjail Rashida Ahmad, Preston Lane, Dasan Ahanu and Malaika King Albrecht. Judges for the finals are Michael Chitwood, Ansel Elkins and last year's state competition winner, Jessica Kariisa.
The master of ceremonies will be Michael Beadle, and North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will be present all day to "provide inspiration."
The state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national championship April 29-30. The North Carolina champion will compete for a $20,000 college scholarship.
The winning state school will receive a $500 stipend to buy poetry books. The runner-up at the state level receives $100, with his or her school receiving a $200 stipend for buying poetry books.
Goggin is the son of retired Chief Warrant Officer Four Sean Goggin and Monica Goggin, of Pinehurst. He is a two-time National Forensic League national qualifier in dramatic interpretation, and he will compete at the national championships in June.
He is also an active Boy Scout and is a member of the Key Club, the Student Government Association, the tennis team and the math club.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@ thepilot.com.
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