For Immediate Release
Contact: Casey Blake

Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals: March 20 in Phoenix
Eight, Arizona PBS and ON Media Publications act as sponsors

[March 15, 2013–Phoenix, AZ] Over 13,000 Arizona high schools students competed at the school level of the 2012-2013 Arizona Poetry Out Loud competition, a program facilitated by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and regional partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and Arizona State University’s Young Writers Program. The state finals of the Arizona Poetry Out Loud recitation contest takes place at 7:00pm, Wednesday, March 20, at Eight, Arizona PBS. The event is open to the public and will be recorded for later broadcast.

The 2012-2013 competition is the eighth year of Poetry Out Loud in Arizona, which 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. Poetry Out Loud is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

56 school-level finalists competed in one of three regional competitions (northern, central or southern) to advance to the state level in Arizona. Nine students – three from each region – were recognized as finalists in the state competition, which is sponsored by Eight, Arizona PBS and ON Media Publications:

Matthew Ryan Frankel, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix
Jessica Gonzalez, Nogales High School, Nogales
Adriana Hurtado, Tri-City College Preparatory, Prescott
Annais Lopez Sanchez, Westview High School, Avondale
Tiffany Newell, Kingman High School, Kingman
Mark Anthony Niadas, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson
Nathan Poston, Glendale Preparatory, Glendale
Mackinzi Taylor, Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona
Cassandra Valadez, Sunnyside High School, Tucson

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. The state champion’s school also receives $500 to purchase poetry books for its library. Runner-up in the Arizona State competition will receive $100, and their high school will receive $200 towards the purchase of poetry books for the school’s library.

Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals
7:00 – 9:00pm, Wednesday, March 20, 2013
ednesday, March 20, 2013
Eight, Arizona PBS
555 North Central, 6th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004

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.