Lincoln High Student Wins State Poetry Out Loud Competition


The pen is mightier than the sword; A famous phrase that best reflects the most recent winner of the state Poetry Out Loud competition.

While he may have won the battle, he’s not looking for a war.

Lincoln High School senior Gage Gramlick looks to a future where we can all connect through our most precious commodity: words.

Earlier in the year, Gage spent a lot of time with his English teacher Sara Klawann to get ready for the competition.

“We started delving into poetry and looking at it together. I think some of my favorite moments were just sitting at the desk next to Gage and, kind of, walking word by word through poems and breaking them down and dissecting them,” Lincoln High School English Teacher Sara Klawonn said.

Hard work that paid off, as he ended up winning the state competition for the second year in a row.

“I’m so excited and I’m so proud of Gage. I can’t wait to head to D.C. with him and cheer him on. I know he’s going to do well at the national competition,” Klawonn said.

But for both of them, poetry is far more than just about winning.

“I think poetry now, I think, is shifting completely and utterly toward a form of communication that we use to convey for… political, cultural, social, economic reasons,” Lincoln High School Senior and State Poetry Out Loud Winner Gage Grimlick said.

“Poetry is this contained, condensed, concise communication, and so it’s a powerful way for us to express ourselves in a special unique way,” Klawonn said.

He may have earned a trip to D.C.,  but the real adventure is the many people he gets to connect with along the way.

“At the national competition we all get together, and we’re from – there’s kids from Puerto Rico, Texas, all over the nation and… we’re all very different and we all share this love for poetry, and then there’s these amazing empathetic connections we have. You know, there might be a Trump supporter or a Democrat, or whatever and we all, kind of, cross these lines into having conversations that are important and really moving forward as people,” Grimlick said.

A victory, that he will surely write home about.

If you would like to learn more about Poetry Out Loud, click here.

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