Harper '27 Earns Spot At Poetry Out Loud Hawaii Regional Competition

Congratulations to Harper '27 for winning the Assets High School Poetry Out Loud competition! Harper won by reciting "Say This" by Lucia Perillo. Harper qualifies for the 2024 Poetry Out Loud Hawaii Regional Competition on Sunday, February 25, at the Tenney Theatre in Honolulu.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to present my poetry recital skills!" Harper said. "I've always been interested in both poetry and performance, so being able to do something involving both and compete has been an exciting experience for me. It means a lot to me that I have this chance to represent Assets in the statewide Poetry Out Loud contest."

The ninth grader said the winning poem "Say This," by Lucia Perillo, describes tiny snapshots of nature alongside the poet's musings on her life.

"My interpretation of it was that it was about life and its significance," Harper shared." The poem feels like it's capturing a moment in time and thought; though one's life can feel small and insignificant in the face of the entire universe and all of history, the conclusion that this poem comes to is that it's not nothing. Each person is a part of this world and our shared existence, and I think this is a really powerful message!"

At the competition, Harper will recite the winning poem "Say This" by Lucia Perillo in addition to "Hanging Fire" by Audre Lorde.

What does Harper like about poetry?

"It's quite fascinating to me how poets can weave words together in poetry and use them as a tool to deliver a message in a way that is unique from other written mediums," Harper shared. "I feel like there's a lot of raw truth to poetry that offers us, as the audience, an intimate look into the author's life, thoughts, and heart, and the loose rules of poetry can allow poets to unleash their creativity in a truly beautiful and interesting way."

The winner of the Hawaii regional goes on to the 2024 Poetry Out Loud National Finals scheduled for April 30- May 2, 2024, in Washington, DC.

Best of luck, Harper!