McMahon Places at State Poetry Competition


“I think [poetry is] a beautiful way to share your struggles and is a very intimate form of being vulnerable,” senior Ruby McMahon said. Last year, when McMahon did Poetry Out Loud in AP Lit teacher and Poetry Out Loud advisor Kimberly Buckley’s class, she was the school runner up. She was upset that she messed up one of her lines and when Ms. Buckley told her to do it again, she knew she had to. Many students participated in the Poetry Out Loud competition this fall, but she was the only one who advanced beyond the school’s round. She was one of the top six for the statewide competition, with her finishing among five other state finalists March 11 at the Bushnell. McMahon performed “Mansplaining” by Jennifer Militello, “Early Affection” by George Moses Horton, and “Enough” by Suzanne Buffam. “She was a quiet presence. She never spoke for the sake of speaking, but if she had something consequential or thoughtful to share, she spoke up. She worked hard at everything. And most importantly, she read every single word of every single text we studied,” Ms. Buckley said. McMahon has always had a love for poetry, but recently rediscovered it during her AP Lit class. “I remember writing poetry when I was a little kid. Me and my friends would write poetry books for our teachers. I have always loved it,” McMahon said. McMahon recalls a day when her class analyzed the poem “Disgust” by Elizabeth Scanlon that used a curse word. She was shocked to analyze a work with profanity in it in school, but she loved the poem. This was the day she categorizes as the day she fell back in love with poetry. “While I need them to learn how to analyze poetry in AP Lit for the exam, I mostly just want them to love it, so I am delighted that Ruby found the fun and beauty of poetry again in AP Lit,” Ms. Buckley said.