Staroho Leva Publishers celebrated Taras Shevchenko’s birth and death anniversaries with the Bard’s poetry recital contest, attended by Lviv’s secondary schools’ students. As much as 20 readers, who had won the school-wide contests, came to sort it out in the finals hosted by the Lviv Central Children’s library.
The contestants, divided into three age groups, submitted to the jury poems of their own choosing. Arab-Ukrainian Nelli-Oleksandra Ala-al-Arousi won the youngest age group that included 1st to 4th grades’ students. She managed to convey “Yaroslavna’s Lament” very earnestly and faithfully, bringing tears to the eyes of the jury members. Yulia Pukaliak of the secondary school No. 22 won the 5th to 8th grades group with her rendering of The Drowned, while Bozhena Stefanovych from the secondary school No. 23 was the best among the students of the 9th to 11th grades group, impressing everybody with her take on Maryna. “We have never before organized a Shevchenko poetry recital contest among secondary schools’ students,” writer and the Staroho Leva chief editor Mariana Savka, initiator of the contest, told The Day. “It was a kind of rehearsal before the coming great event, the 200th anniversary of Shevchenko’s birth. We needed to look and try to understand how the modern kids perceived and read his poetry, and whether it was relevant and interesting to them.”