The competitions were put on by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and Mid-Atlantic Arts. They were judged by Eve L. Ewing, an award-winning poet and writer of Marvel Comics “IronHeart.” Park was the only poet to place in both competitions.
“This has been my third year in Poetry Out Loud,” said Park. “It’s something that’s really changed and influenced my high school experience. And I don’t think it would have been the same without it.”
Park credits the work of her teacher and poetry coach for her success.
“I want to thank my coach Davis Thompson for getting me through all three years of Poetry Out Loud. He’s really the reason my relationship with poetry has really changed,” Park said. “Poetry has always been something that’s really important to me, and Poetry out loud has kind of amplified that importance for me.”
Park plans to keep perusing poetry in the future.
“Weather it’s writing poetry, weather it’s continuing to recite poetry, or even simply just consuming poetry; I think poetry is something that allows us to communicate and connect with other people mostly. I think that that is something that really saves us and allows us to become a more integrated part of this world.”
“It is truly inspirational to hear the thoughts, experiences, feelings, and ideas of Poetry Out Loud participants in their own voice, their own words, demonstrating that poetry can be both intimate and ubiquitous,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts, in a news release. “Congratulations to this year’s Poetry Ourselves winners.”
Park is headed to Yale in the fall where she plans to major in film studies.