YORK -- A'derrica Roseboro will not be making a return trip to Washington, D.C., this year.
Her hopes of repeating her state title win in the Poetry Out Loud contest this year ended in Columbia last Saturday. Roseboro went head to head with eight other students from across the state in the competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The students, all top three finishers in regional contests, were judged on their poise, interpretation, presentation and recitation of poems penned by established poets.
"It was a very competitive group," Roseboro said Monday. "I did have a lot of fun though."
The contest is in it's fourth year. All 50 states are participating in the contest now, though it is only the second year South Carolina schools have taken part. State winners get an all-expense paid trip to the final round in Washington D.C., where they compete for a $20,000 scholarship.
"I never would have gotten into poetry without this," Roseboro said. "I didn't even know I could write poetry before this."
She said taking part in the contest last year was her first real experience with poetry. She had never recited a poem in front of anyone before, but she has a natural talent for it.
"I didn't think I'd go far, but I did," Roseboro said.
The competition begins in individual classrooms, then moves on to a schoolwide event. School winners go on to regional competitions, then state and national. Roseboro took home the state title last year, and had hoped to repeat the feat this year on her way to the scholarship.
She's not sure if she'll try again next year.
"Everyone wants me to, but I don't know," she said.
Students get to select poems from an anthology to recite for the competition, according to Kay McSpadden, who taught Roseboro public speaking last year.
"A'derrica has a lot of stage presence," McSpadden said. "That helps."
Roseboro was new to York Comprehensive High last year, having just moved from Oklahoma. The poetry competition, her other activities and her personality helped her fit in, McSpadden said.
"Now she's sort of a celebrity at school, she has done some school assemblies, she's been invited to other community events and she's on the school news program every morning," she said.
Since her initial exposure to the competition, Roseboro has begun writing her own poetry. While students are not allowed to recite their own work during the competition, someday, they may be reciting hers.