Poetry Fest 2017 Crowns 4 Winners, Including First Former Daniel Bittner ‘22

The annual Belmont Hill poetry fest is a long-standing tradition that is cherished by all in the school community, as it offers all boys the opportunity to present a poem of their choosing. One boy from each English class moves on to the semi-final round, and, from there, about a dozen top presentations move onto the final round, which takes place during a long school meeting.


Thirteen boys were finalists in this year’s poetry fest:

Alex Czarnecki (VI): “What the Confederate Flag Said to the American Flag” by R. J. Walker

Armin Thomas (VI): “Beowulf” Prologue, recited in both Old English and Modern English

Brian Antonelli (V): “59” by Harry Baker

Macdony Charles (V): “Dinosaurs in the Hood” by Danez Smith

Gavin Colbert (V): “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

Ben Awtrey (IV): “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

Charlie Donahue (IV): “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Harrison Hill (III): “Ode to a Large Tuna in a Market” by Pablo Neruda

Elias Hyde (III): “Anthem for the Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen

Jack Weldon (III): “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Kai Ogenah (II): “Son to Mother” by Maya Angelou

Daniel Bittner (I): “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Jacob Czarnecki (I): “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

Though all the finalists were phenomenal, only four could be crowned winners and have their names forever inscribed on the banner in Morse.

Senior Alex Czarnecki’s (‘17) recitation of “What the Confederate Flag Said to the American Flag” was a powerful poem choice with a deeper message and Czarnecki performed it with an inflection that reflected the content of the poem.

First Former Daniel Bittner ‘22 wowed the chapel with his incredibly energetic presentation of “Charge of the Light Brigade,” earning him the honor of a distinctive recitation, an uncommon feat for a First Former.

Brian Antonelli ‘18 chose to perform “59,” a more light-hearted poem, and his strong presentation of the poem’s story was rewarded with a victory.

Junior Macdony Charles’s (‘18) rendition of “Dinosaurs in the Hood” was an impactful display that highlighted important racial issues with touches of humor throughout, earning Charles his second distinctive recitation honor in two years.

Overall, the Poetry Fest lived up to its reputation as one of the top school meetings of the year, providing the entire community the opportunity to listen to and enjoy poetry presented by their peers.

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