The best of the best took the stage on Friday, January 26th in front of the entire student body at the Renaissance Assembly. The three finalists: Katie Bitter, Rachel House, and Kyla Rubalcava, all seniors, battled for the win with their strongest poems and moving voices throughout three rounds of competition. After the judges tallied their scores, Rachel was awarded third place, Katie second, and Kyla first.
After watching her energetic performance on stage, I asked Kyla a few questions about her creative process and life surrounding poetry, as well as her journey of becoming one of the final three competitors.
BP: What made you decide to compete this year for Poetry Out Loud?
KR: I decided to compete this year because last year I was in Mr. Haggquist’s poetry class, and it was a really great experience. I wanted to do Poetry Out Loud last year but got too scared! So this year I forced myself out there.
BP: Have you always liked poetry?
KR: Yes, I grew up in a family where my mom really pushed for the arts, and I happened to really enjoy writing and poetry. I used to go to this open mic and I would write on-the-spot poems. It was great just to have my voice heard around people with the same vibes as me.
BP: How did you choose your poems and what was your process for memorizing them?
KR: It was a really fun process – I looked up key words in the search bar I wanted to talk about. And to memorize them, I was just really dedicated and made sure that I understood every line, and that made it much easier to memorize.
BP: How did you feel going into the final round and performing in front of the student body?
KR: At first it was a little nerve-wracking, but I had faith in myself and it was nice to be up there with one of my best friends, Katie [Bitter], who also performed that day!
BP: Do you plan to continue with poetry?
KR: Yes definitely, I plan on writing more and reading more, and I’m trying to get back into the open mic game again. It’s really great!