MARQUETTE — Students at Marquette Senior High School gathered Wednesday morning to test their poetry reading skills and earn a chance at a scholarship.

The day marked the third annual MSHS Poetry Out Loud Recitiation Championship. Students memorized and presented poems from their favorite authors, including Alfred Lord Tennyson and Walt Whitman. Judges were looking for something special to crown the champion.

“Perfection — that one performance that really knocks you out. It’s the Academy Award of reading a poem,” said judge and U.P. Poet Laureate Russell Thorburn. “To perform a poem, to recite it from memory, is a very special thing, I think.”

The competition is part of a nationwide event which will culminate in a national final in Washington, D.C. The ultimate prize of that competition is a $20,000 college scholarship.

To find out more about Poetry Out Loud, visit