Arlington H.S. Junior Has Award-Winning Voice for Poetry

May 9, 2014

Anita Norman, 17, won the 2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. She is a junior at Arlington High School
Credit Christopher Blank

Anita Norman, 17, bested 365,000 other high school students nationwide in the annual Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington DC. Her recitations may amaze you.

The Arlington High School junior won a $20,000 prize, with an additional $500 to buy poetry books for her school's library. 

The Poetry Out Loud competition, created in 2006, is a joint project of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Students in all 50 states select poems from an online poetry anthology. They memorize, rehearse, and then perform them in state and national competitions. Norman won the Tennessee prize in March.

Here Norman recites Stanley Kunitz's poem "The Layers."

In February, Norman also won the 2014 Memphis Grizzlies Poetry Slam. Her self-penned work, "Mamma Memphis," compares the city to a mother giving birth. She recited that poem for us here, though admits that she can't imagine others reading her work aloud.