Words matter to Breen Manos. The Big Bear High School senior and member of the school’s Undead Poets Society Club, has been an avid reader since she was little.

On March 15, Manos travels to Sacramento to represent San Bernardino County and Big Bear High School in the 2020 Poetry Out Loud recitation contest. It’s a dream come true for the teen wordsmith who not only reads, but is a writer, too.

“I was always interested in writing from a really young age,” Manos says. “I always loved it. I didn’t know I had a knack for it until I started writing, because I was always glued to a book.”

She started with short stories and essays. “I didn’t get into writing poetry until I was in high school,” Manos says. “We started experimenting with poetry — sonnets and haikus — and once we reached free verse, it was like ‘that’s it.’ I’m hands-down a free verse type of person.”

That skill in writing poetry comes in handy for Manos’ participation in Poetry Out Loud. While it’s all about reciting poetry, not writing poetry, it’s the ability to interpret the meaning of the words and phrases that spells success for the reciter.

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