Marshalltown High School senior Ellen Podhajsky placed second in the statewide Poetry Out Loud contest on March 8 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.
Podhajsky recited from memory “The Woman at the Washington Zoo” by Randall Jarrell and “The Windhover” by Gerald Manley Hopkins in the preliminary rounds. She then recited “A Graveyard” by Marianne Moore in the final round.
As a runner up, she won $100 for herself and $200 worth of poetry books for MHS.
Seventeen school finalists from throughout Iowa competed in the state Poetry Out Loud contest. First place went to Josie Kasik of Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School.
Poetry Out Loud is organized and facilitated at MHS through the Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell. Ellen worked with a mentor, retired speech coach from Tama, Gary Zmolek, as she prepared for the state contest.
Podhajsky won the MHS contest on Dec. 18, 2014.