EdWatch: Sanford freshman to compete in nat'l poetry competition

By Amy Cherry 7:30pm, April 23, 2013 - Updated 7:40pm, April 23, 2013
Get a sneak peek of a part of Jordan McMillan's performance this Saturday.
A 15-year-old local student heads to the national stage to compete in a poetry competition.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

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Sanford freshman Jordan McMillan is getting the word out: the spoken word.

She's representing Delaware in the National Poetry Out Loud competition this weekend in Washington, D.C.

"It didn't really register that I won. It was really cool, and then I got home, and I was like, 'Whoa, I was the first in the state. That's kind of awesome,'" she says.

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This poet writes all her own stuff and prefers when it doesn't rhyme.

"The poetry I write is relatable to other people. But I write it for myself," she says.

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Her words sound like a monologue, and at times, you may forget it's even a poem.

"What I like most about poetry is how you can capture certain things without even stating what those things are," she explains.

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She pushes her nerves aside, even with her heart pounding, and gets up on that stage and becomes someone else entirely.

"Very much so portraying a character, who has something to say," she says.

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And McMillan ALWAYS has something to say--with one exception.

"If I won nationals, I... no words could describe how happy I would be," she says.

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Hear a portion of her performance:

"Talent is what they say you have after the novel is published and favorably reviewed. Beforehand, what you have is a tedious delusion, a hobby, like, knitting. Work is what you have done after the play is produced and the audience claps. Before that, friends keep asking when you're planning to go out and get a job. Genius is what they know you had after the third volume of remarkable poems. Earlier, they accuse you of withdrawing, ask why you don't have a baby, call you a bum," she recites a portion of the "Young Who Want to" from memory.

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