39 Michigan students will take part in a state poetry competition on Friday

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A state poetry competition is hoping to get students interested in performance and literature.

Poetry Out Loud is a state competition for high school students in poetry performance.

Basil Grey is from Glen Arbor, he is one of the students who will perform.

Tanya Firestone is Grey’s english teacher at Leelanau School.

“He’s able to combine a little bit of his ability to project the voice out in the crowd, and gather their attention, and weave that with his appreciation of literature and I noticed right away that Basil has just a a great respect for english literature.”

Firestone said the pieces are chosen in advance, so students can practice. Some are from the 18th century.

“Just being able to work through some of the language choices. Some of the poets of the past have an ability to use words in ways that we’ve lost. You know instagrams and these like that, that’s one issue. So when we’re working through a poem and they’re drudging through some of the language of our longer pieces in literature, they are not as tired out when you have a short poem to work through it , versus working through an entire chapter.”

39 students from Midland, Flint and Petoskey among other cities are set to perform.