WASHINGTON, DC – Mia Ronn, a junior at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, is the 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. With moving recitations of poetry by Kara Jackson, Victor Hernández Cruz, and Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, Ronn was named champion during last night’s national finals, which took place virtually and was hosted by author, speaker, and educator Kwame Alexander.
Ronn becomes the first ever California state champion to win the national title. She will receive a prize of $20,000, and her school will receive $500 to purchase poetry materials.
The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded for Poetry Out Loud. The Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals and Finals are administered by Mid Atlantic Arts.
When asked what drew her interest in Poetry Out Loud, Ronn said: “Performing a piece of writing can kind of connect you to it, to the text and to the poet themselves. You just can’t get the same understanding from reading a poem, no matter how many times you do, as you can from when you bring it to life.”
“Mia’s performance on Sunday reminded us all of the lasting impression left on the judges in the state competition, and why she was chosen to represent California on the national stage,” said California Arts Council Executive Director Jonathan Moscone. “Her commitment to hard work and love of poetry during this extraordinary moment in the world shined through at every point in the program.”
This is the 17th year that the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation have partnered with the state and jurisdictional arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization and recitation.
About Poetry Out Loud
A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud™ is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. The program starts in the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria, including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. Poetry Out Loud takes place in all 50 states, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud. California’s Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. and has grown steadily since its inception.
For more information about Poetry Out Loud and how to participate in the 2022–2023 program, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.
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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.
Members of the California Arts Council include: Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Chair; Consuelo Montoya, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke, Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, Ellen Gavin, Alex Israel, Phil Mercado, and Roxanne Messina Captor. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.
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