978-793-1553 fitz@johnfitz.com

I want you to choose your WW Fenn performance piece this week. We will begin the memorization and performance process immediately–and it is a multi-step process! Performance implies mastery, not simply memorization.

This contest originally started out as a poetry recitation contest. Over the years, the original rules have been bent and distorted to the point where it is sometimes hard to tell that it is supposed to be a celebration of “greatness” in literature, not a mimicking of a speech seen on TV or in a movie; not a silly comic piece or sing-songing children’s story, and not a shallow barrage of clever words set into a story.

I want you to have an experience that will live on in you and for you through as many years as you walk this earth; I want you to remember your words for the power that gives those words timelessness. I want to get back to the purity of the original source and lifeblood of the WW Fenn contest.


  • You may choose a poem, ballad, or a passage from a longer piece of classic or singularly great literature, which includes: novels, short stories, or essays; moreover, you may choose to recite a traditional myth or cultural story.
  • The piece must be at least two minutes long and not more than four minutes.



  • Find a piece and post the words on your blog with a Poetry Response Reflection about “why” you choose your piece.
  • Learn a portion of your piece each night, so that you can practice more in class and receive the feedback you need to do the best you can.

Grading: 25 Points

  • Your grade will be based on the quality of the piece you choose. 2 Points Due Thursday
  • A WW Fenn Response Reflection: 5 Points Due Friday
  • Daily Metacognitions of your progress. 3 points Post in the discussion thread. 100 words per post.
  • Your performance in front of the class. This will be filmed. 5 Points Beginning Next week
  • An Adobe Voice video of your piece posted on your blog. 5 Points Due Tuesday
  • A personal narrative essay (video or written) you will write after your performance is completed. 5 Points TBA


PoetrySoup.com Great selection of ballads 
Shakespeare Passages