Senior Maddie Hoffmann shines at Poetry Out Loud competition

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Courtesy of Maddie Hoffmann

Senior Maddie Hoffmann celebrates her success at the 2020 Poetry Out Loud regional competition with English teacher Andrea Benmuvhar. Hoffmann received a certificate and a trophy as well as a flower for her achievement. “I never thought that I’d go up on stage and force myself [to perform], but I think I took my confidence a step further. I’m very proud of what I’m now capable of doing. I’m glad that I overcame my stage fright as well as testing out my knowledge on poetry,” Hoffmann said.

Getting over her stage fright and having only three poems to compete with, senior Maddie Hoffmann came in third place at this year’s regional Poetry Out Loud competition with her love for reading and writing.

“I’ve always liked poetry. I like writing it [and] I like reading it. My [AP English Literature and Composition] teacher [Andrea] Benmuvhar encouraged me to do it. I figured it’s my senior year, so why not,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann recited three poems at the event: “End of Days Advice from an Ex-Zombie” by Michael Derrick Hudson, “Broken Promises” by David Kirby and “Fate” by Carolyn Wells. 

“The first one I presented, I liked because the literature and details were really fun to read out loud to the audience. Poetry has a reputation for being super emotional and creepy, which was why I liked that one,” Hoffmann said. “The second one was super emotional and happy, so I feel like I needed at least one of those and then the last one, I just thought it was cute.”

Hoffmann’s performance meant much more to her than the poems she recited.

“I’d say it was more the performance that meant something to me rather than the poems themselves because I couldn’t necessarily relate to what was in the poems,” Hoffmann said. “I’m a pretty shy person and getting up on stage was a really good thing for me.”

Hoffmann enjoyed the competition and had the opportunity to celebrate with Andrea Benmuvhar on stage.

“Mrs. Benmuvhar was on stage with me when I was called up. All the teachers were lined up with each other and we got the chance to say a few words about them. I thought that that was a really neat moment,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann did not anticipate winning the contest, but wanted to recite the poems she admired.

“I wasn’t in it to win–it was more about the experience–but willing to get that little trophy was very cool and impressive,” Hoffmann said. “More than the momentum of third place, it was like I was saying to myself, ‘hey, you should go push yourself out of your comfort zone.’”