The Poetry Out Loud National Final concluded in Washington, D.C. on May 2nd, 2019. Minnesota’s Isabella Callery (Anishinaabe), a senior at Arcadia Charter School, received top honors and won a $20,000 prize. She recited poems by Joy Harjo, Natalie Diaz, and Charles Lamb. Second place went to Illinois’ own Scottlynn Ernestine Ballard. She is a junior at Edwardsville Senior High School. Georgia’s Alejandro J. Campo, a junior at Flowery Branch High School, won third.
More than 275,000 students across the nation participated in this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition. The competition started in the classroom, then moved forward to school, regional, and state competitions. Champions from all fifty states as well as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and District of Columbia participated in the national final.
The Poetry Out Loud national finals are administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and other state arts agencies. Since 2005, 3.8 million students from 16,000 high schools nationwide have participated in this program.