Central Conference Speech Meet
2023 — Lexington, NE/US
Poetry is writing which expresses ideas, experience, or emotion through the creative arrangement of words according to their sound, their rhythm, and their meaning. Traditional poetry relies on verse and stanza form. It generally has a somewhat regular rhythm, often with a definite--sometimes repeated--rhyme scheme. Nontraditional poetry may do away with regular rhythm and rhyme, but rhythmic flow of the individual line remains an integral part of the structure. The speaker should be given free choice of style and material and should be judged solely on the effectiveness of its presentation.
The purpose of this contest is to encourage the student to find, understand, experience, and share a poetic work through the art of oral reading. The presentation may be of an entire work, a cutting of a single longer work, or a collection of shorter works or short cuttings of longer works by one poet or several poets arranged in a program. The use of written transitions between selections is not required. However, the speaker should seek to clearly delineate the selections, and the audience should be able to distinguish one from another.
The contestant must perform the interpretation using a manuscript (which may be in a binder or on separate sheets). Since the contestant must hold a manuscript, use of that manuscript should be an integral part of the performance.
Responsive use of the body (i.e., spontaneous changes in posture and gesture) is permissible so long as this active use of the body is appropriate to the demands of the selection and a natural outgrowth from the literature being performed.
Along with appropriate, effective physical presentation, the contestant will also be evaluated in terms of technique (breathing, tone, pitch, enunciation, phrasing, pace, etc.) and artistry (presentation of mood and imagery, vocal characterization – if required, creation of unifying effect, etc.).