March 12, 2014

Contact: Steve Wilcox

Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals: March 15 in Tucson
Nine Arizona High School Students to Compete in Statewide Poetry Recitation Contest

Tucson, Arizona (March 12, 2014). Arizona’s ninth annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition state finals will be held on Saturday, March 15, at the Social Sciences Auditorium on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. Students representing 9 Arizona high schools will meet in competition to determine the 2014 Arizona Poetry Out Loud state champion. The state champion will move on to compete for a $20,000 scholarship at the national finals in Washington D.C. in April.

Nearly 13,000 Arizona high schools students competed at the school level of the 2013-2014 Arizona Poetry Out Loud competition. A program of the National Endowment of the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, administered in Arizona by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and regional partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and Arizona State University’s Young Writers Program, Poetry Out Loud encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. Participation in Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Tucson-based poet, performer, DJ, and educator, Logan Phillips will act as emcee. Special guest Alberto Álvaro Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural Poet Laureate, will also speak at the event.

The following students will compete in the state finals competition:
Matthew Kaplan, Tesseract School, Phoenix
Shaylin Renfro, Mesa High School, Mesa
Denis Healy, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix
Daniel Rosenberg, St. Gregory College Preparatory, Tucson
Sorrel Fivecoat, Tucson Magnet High School, Tucson
Mark Niadas, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson
Leah Weinzinger, Coconino High School, Flagstaff
Adriana Hurtado, Tri-City Preparatory High School, Prescott Valley
Willy Torres, Kingman High School, Kingman

The Arizona Poetry Out Loud state champion will receive a $200 cash award and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals, where they will compete for a $20,000 college scholarship. In addition, the state champion’s school will receive $500 to purchase poetry books for its library. First runner-up in the state competition will receive $100, and their high school will receive $200 towards the purchase of poetry books for the school’s library.

About Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. For further information regarding Poetry Out Loud, visit or

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizona citizens; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.
We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.


To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact the Arts Commission offices at (602) 771-6502, or
Images available upon request.