POL Update: Emma Takes 2nd At County

Michael Aeschbacher, Website/Print Editor

This article is a continuation of the Poetry Out Loud article posted on January 31, 2018. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition in which winning contestants work their way up from class to national level. In the previous article, we interviewed Emma Lubinger, the winner of Pinole Valley High’s school-wide POL contest.


Life always seems to be busy for a budding poet. Following a breathtaking victory at PVHS’s POL competition, junior Emma Lubinger only had about two weeks to prepare for the next step: county level. It was certainly a tall order, requiring her to balance everyday school life with practice for another wave of competition. There’s also the matter of stress and pressure that comes from raised stakes, with strong contenders hailing from across the county. Finally, county-level contestants are required to recite an extra poem in addition to their previous poem from school-level. Yikes.

However, the proud Spartan was certainly up to the task, and the results are stunning. With performances of “The Obligation To Be Happy” and “I Am Learning To Abandon The World” (both by Linda Pastan), Emma took home 2nd place at the competition! From the beginning of PVHS’s involvement in POL, this is the best standing we’ve seen yet. Consider the bar raised.

While this most likely signifies the end of PVHS’s role in the competition for this year (only 1st place winners move on to state level), Emma is not quite off the hook just yet. In the event that the current 1st place winner is unable to make the state contest, Emma will serve as a substitute. But in any case, we’re all extremely proud of her achievements, and PVHS will be eagerly awaiting next year’s POL competition!