Cheryl Minde ’20 prevails at Poetry Out Loud

Getting much more than just a trip to Washington, D.C.

Maya Chadda, Co-Editor-In-Chief

With an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and $200 in hand Cheryl Minde ‘20 left the Minnesota’s state competition for Poetry Out Loud held at The Loft Literary Center Open Book.

Minde competed and prevailed amongst five other young poets in the semifinals. Her success in the semifinals allowed her to move onto the national competition where she will represent Minnesota in on April 23-25.

Minde isn’t the only poet from Blake to advance to nationals in Washington, D.C. Similarly, Cameron Downey ’17 made it to nationals in March of 2015.

During the competition, Minde read three poems: Adrienne Rich’s “Planetarium,” Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s “America, I Sing You Back,” and “Grief” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Minde reflects on her poem selection stating, “Through picking out those three poems, the content within them I think really spoke to many identities within myself. That made it really easy competing because they were so personal in a way.”

Minde’s success at the state competition can be attributed, in part, to her mother who is involved at The Loft. She states, “My mom is a big inspiration to me. Mostly because she is my mother, but also because just seeing her writing and achieving is very inspiring.”

Minde also received advice from Lester Batiste, the faculty advisor of Poetry Out Loud. She states, “I got a lot of help from Mr. Batiste who helped me understand the poetry that I was reading. And also in his class we read a poem every single day which really helps with having that connection to poetry as a whole.”

Minde left the competition with most definitely some tangible validation of her achievement in poetry, but more than that she remarks, “My outlook on poetry and how I take in poetry has changed as a result of the competition. Paying attention to the structure of poetry caused a new appreciation for writing and structure for me. Writing can be so purposeful.”

Cheryl Minde ’20 will be representing Minnesota on April 23-25 in Washington, D.C. at the Poetry Out Loud competition.