We caught up with 2019 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion Tajah-Rayne Davise to hear what her favorite part of POL was, and what she is up to now.
What was your favorite part of the Poetry Out Loud program? 
My favorite part of the program was being able to share a piece of my heart and soul with so many people that I didn’t even know; likewise, being blessed to hear parts of other people. It’s an experience like no other.
What was your favorite part of competing in the POL State Finals? In the POL National Finals?
My favorite part about both State and Nationals was really hearing so many different people recite. The moment that you get done listening to a poem and think, “This person has got this in the bag,” is the moment that you realize that you’re not here to win, you’re here to share yourself and to somehow get past the walls that we all continually put up with each other.
Overall, what do you think POL does for students in Michigan?
I think that POL allows us to be us. When the room is dark, you’re on stage, and the only thing you can see is the judges, you are truly free. You can move, you can smile, you can frown, you can do whatever you deem suitable for that poem, and no one can look at you like you’re crazy, because they’re so engaged with the story that you are molding together. You get to tell your narrative the way that you want to.
What are you up to now?
I am currently a student at Michigan Technological University studying Computer Science. I am involved in InterVarsity Christian fellowship, and am the worship leader there. I still write poetry and perform it whenever I can, but my favorite things include playing guitar and singing, watching movies with my friends, and having real conversations with others.