Smyrna resident and Whitefield Academy senior Ansleigh Brown was recently named the school’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud champion. She has competed in each of her four years of high school, but did not take the title until this year. After winning the school-wide competition at Whitefield, Ansleigh advanced to the regional level, where no winners are named, but the top 20 percent of competitors advance onward. Only two competitors were selected from Whitefield’s region, and Ansleigh was one of them. She then competed with other contestants who also advanced from their regional competitions at the Georgia state contest March 17 at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. The state champion, Flowery Branch High School's Alejandro Campo, advanced to the National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington in April. Poetry Out Loud is a nationally organized competition for high school students. Competitors are provided with a series of poems from which to choose, and they then recite their selected poems in performance. “Ansleigh has a great feel for the poems she chooses and always delivers them genuinely and sincerely,” said Andrea Unsicker, Whitefield English teacher and faculty advisor for the Poetry Out Loud competition. “I am so excited for her to enjoy this opportunity.” To clinch her wins, Brown recited "Megan Married Herself" by Caroline Bird and "Holy Sonnets: Death, Be Not Proud" by John Donne.

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