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first_imgTwo Clark County students are ready to slam their way into spoken-word stardom at next weekend’s state Poetry Out Loud competition.Battle Ground High School junior Laney Pham and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics sophomore Isabella Daltoso will advance to the state Poetry Out Loud competition March 4 after receiving the two top spots at the Educational Service District 112 contest. Students select pieces of poetry to recite and perform. They’re judged on physical appearance, articulation, dramatic appropriateness and their ability to “breathe life” into the piece, according to the competition’s website.It’s that last point that holds most true for Pham and Daltoso, as both girls selected pieces that spoke to their own lives and experiences.Pham, whose parents are Vietnamese immigrants, had a language barrier through school, she said. She spoke Vietnamese at home, which meant it was often a challenge to communicate at school.“I grew up not being able to express my feelings,” she said.But as a high school student, she took a chance, joining speech and debate to improve her speaking skills, and later through an English teacher found out about Poetry Out Loud and began to participate.“Poetry Out Loud to me is like delivering my thoughts and expressions through an art form,” she said.Pham selects poems that share part of her story. At the state competition, she’ll perform “Beautiful Wreckage” by W.D. Ehrhart. She has a unique advantage in her reading of the piece: the poem is about the writer’s experience fighting in the Vietnam War, and contains words in Vietnamese.last_img

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