“I’ve always loved poetry. We studied it for a few months in school ... and my dad writes poetry. I just really love it,” Gibson said as she explained why she wanted to take part in the competition.
Halla Tumberlinson, a junior from Norman High, was named runner-up.
Tumberlinson said she has always liked reading poetry because sometimes it’s hard to be in the right mindset to write it.
“I found you can always read poetry,” Tumberlinson said.
Gibson will continue in the Poetry Out Loud competition in the next round, which will be hosted in Edmond sometime in February.
Readings from Barakat, Brown, Hada and Simon as well as from Lauren Camp and Fady Joudah, 2014 Neustadt Prize Jury members, and Nye, 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize Laureate, all conveyed meaning and impact to attendees.
“Poetry is a celebration of language,” Brown said after reading a poem about his teenage daughter titled “13 Going on Cougar.”
The Neustadt Festival will continue through Friday, with opportunities for the public to interact with visiting writers such as Nye, Barakat, Lauren Camp, Anada Devi, Gabrielle Ghermandi, Fady Joudah, Laleh Khadivi, Andrew Lam, Krys Lee, Deji Olukotun and Cristinia Rivera-Garza.
A book launch and film screening will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. today at the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Readings and a book signing by Laleh Khadivi and Krys Lee will occur at Monnet Hall on the OU campus from 3 to 4:30 p.m., as well as a roundtable on the politics and culture in the Middle East in Monnet Hall, Room 452 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information, visit neustadtprize.org.