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MHS students showcase poetry skills


This year’s Marshalltown High School Poetry Out Loud leaders included, from left: Ashlyn Ruiz, Ana Nolasco Osegueda, Olivia Adams-Zmolek and Carmen Araiza Solorio.

The 12th Annual Marshalltown High School Poetry Out Loud contest provided engaging, thought-provoking competition earlier this week. 

The contest winner, junior Olivia Adams-Zmolek, will for the third year in a row represent the Marshalltown Bobcats at the Iowa Poetry Out Loud competition in Des Moines on March 8, 2020. She performed “Fate” by Carolyn Wells and “Dirge Without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. 

Olivia and fellow performers Heather Junk, Carmen Araiza Solorio, Leticia Herrera, Averi Bolar, Ashlyn Ruiz and Ana Nolasco Osegueda took turns reciting poetry they had been studying for several weeks at Tuesday’s event. Student Kaiden McWilliams also worked hard in preparation, though he was unable to attend the contest.

Ana took home the second place prize, while Ashlyn and Carmen tied for third place. The panel of judges included MHS alumni and former Poetry Out Loud school champions Melissa Niessen, Chandler Fisher and Ellen Podhajsky. 

Each year, about 150,000 students from all 50 states compete in Poetry Out Loud. The winner of the March 8 state contest in Des Moines will join the other state winners in Washington, D.C. in April of 2020. At stake will be $50,000 in scholarships. 

For more information on Poetry Out Loud, click here.