Prize Speaking Continues in its 105th Year

The annual tradition of the Prize Speaking competition, sponsored by the English department and now in its 105th year, was celebrated at an Upper School Assembly last Friday. In early fall, students select literary excerpts to recite in front of an audience and audition, hoping their piece will resonate with the judges and audience.

Harper Graves ’22 was the first participant to take the stage and recited a passage from the novel We Regret to Inform You, by Ariel Kaplan, 2018. Next was Nina Schuerer ’25, who recited two poems by Billy Collins, “Memento Mori” and “Horoscopes for the Dead.”

While the judges evaluated the performances, Grayson Marks ’23 received a standing ovation after his piano performance of Nocturne Opus 9 No. 2 in E flat major by Frederic Chopin.

The applause continued when Harper was declared the 2021 winner of this year’s Prize Speaking competition. Per tradition, her name will be inscribed on the famous Dartmouth Cup.

Upper School English Teacher David Terrell remarked on this year’s event and shared, “This never surprises me, but I’m so grateful for how supportive our students are at Prize Speaking. I think all of them recognize and appreciate how much courage it takes to stand in front of 700 people and recite from memory a literary work.” Congratulations to our speakers and to Harper for taking home this year’s prize!