During our brief interview, she explained to me that she only competed in the anthology portion of the competition, though I asked Verser about what inspires her to write. She replied, “Many things inspire me, but some examples are nature, introspection, and people.”
I also asked, “How did it feel to win two years in a row?”
She exclaimed, ” I’m very excited about the chance to represent Alabama in the national Poetry Out Loud competition again! Competing at the national level last year was an incredible experience. I learned a lot from it and I’m thrilled to go back.”
At the end of our interview, I gave Raina Verser a free-fall question to say anything she wanted, whether it was an inspirational quote or just something she wanted our newsprung readers to know.
“When I was a sophomore and I competed in my school’s Poetry Out Loud competition for the first time, I never expected the amazing experience that followed. Poetry Out Loud has not only helped me discover my love of poetry and meet new people, but it has also given me confidence. My biggest takeaway from the Poetry Out Loud competition is this: if you’re passionate about something, pursue it. You never know how far it will take you,” Versa said.
Good Job and Congratulations, Raina!
The Poetry Out Loud program encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.