Tobenna Igwe '21 Achieves Poetry Success | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


Tobenna Igwe '21 Achieves Poetry Success

Tobenna Igwe

Congratulations to sophomore Tobenna Igwe who was selected to compete in the 2019 Alameda County Poetry Out Loud competition held in downtown Oakland on February 13. Poetry Out Loud is a statewide competition in which students memorize and perform poetry in competition with their peers, with the goal of helping students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. 

Tobenna was first nominated by his English class to participate in the sophomore-wide SJND competition where he was selected by a panel of SJND faculty and staff to advance to the county competition. Not only did Tobenna have to memorize two poems and recite them in front of a panel of adult judges, but he also had to communicate his understanding of the poems through his voice, gestures, and facial expressions. The two poems that he recited were "To the Desert" by Benjamine Alire Saenz and "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Although Tobenna was not selected to move forward to the state competition, his performance received a lot of attention and positive feedback from the judges. According to its website, California's Poetry Out Loud competition is the largest of its kind in the U.S. The 2019 competition series encompassed 53 counties, 305 schools, and 730 teachers, reaching nearly 60,600 students statewide.

We are very proud of you, Tobenna!