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South Dakota Teenager Wins National Poetry Out Loud Competition

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A high school student from South Dakota is the national Poetry Out Loud champion.  

Poetry Out Loud is a national program dedicated to arts education. It offers a competition for high school students to recite poems. 

Rahele Megosha will receive twenty-thousand dollars for winning the virtual competition Thursday night. Judges scored competitors on categories such as physical presence, articulation and accuracy. 

The Sioux Falls Washington senior recited three poems, including “Breakfast” by Mary Lamb.  

“With which again our friends we greet, when in the breakfast room we meet. At the social table round listening to the lively sound of those notes which never tire.” 

Megosha started reciting poetry when she went out for speech and debate. 

“I feel like it’s really the interactions that you get from your readers or your audience and that’s kind of what makes poetry such an interesting thing.” 

Her preparation for the Poetry Out Loud national finals included hours of practice and memorization.  

“I would like sit there and like read the same couple lines over and over again until it was like nailed into my brain.”  

She also credits her coach, Michelle McIntyre.  

“My coach has been there for the past three years and helping me really find my voice and use it in a way that benefits the people around me so I’m incredibly grateful to her.” 

Megosha is still deciding what to do with the prize money. A portion will go to shoes. 

“Today, I will probably buy Air Jordan’s. In the future, I am not sure.” 

Megosha will major in biochemistry this fall at Columbia University.