The Chicago Poetry Center is now in its 6th year as Chicagoland Regional Host Organization for the national youth poetry competition, Poetry Out Loud. Poetry Out Loud is a collaborative project of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and seven arts agencies, each of which hosts a regional contest. The Chicago Poetry Center is grateful for the support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and for the opportunity to partner as regional hosts for Chicagoland.
This February, teens from Chicago area city and suburban schools competed in the Chicagoland regionals for a spot at the statewide Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation competition and a chance to advance to the national competition in Washington DC in May to win $20,000!
Despite the previous few years of being held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicagoland Regionals were finally back in-person at the Poetry Foundation for 2023. Students performed their recitations that were judged by our brilliant panel. The 1st and 2nd place City and Suburban winners will progress to the Illinois state competition level in Springfield on March 13th.
Judges Panel for the 2023 Chicagoland Regionals were:
Chicagoland Regional Poetry Out Loud Coordinator: Joy Young, poet, teaching artist
Nicole Bond: poet, educator
Helene Achanzar: poet, CPC Director of Programs
Leslie Reese: poet, teaching artist
Tim Rey: poet, educator
Scorekeeper: Fullamusu Bangura, poet, teaching artist
Accuracy Judge: Teresa Dzieglewicz, poet, educator
Prompter: Ayme Frye, musician, songwriter
M.C./ Speaker: Jennifer Karmin, writer, performer
The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through analysis, memorization, performance, and competition. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in conjunction with state arts agencies, support this nation-wide program with participants from all fifty states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Big congrats to all the students who participated in the competition. We wish good luck to our City and Suburban 1st and 2nd place winners as they prepare for the State Competition. Many thanks to the CPC poets and community that supported this effort. The Chicago Poetry Center thanks the Illinois Arts Council Agency for its partnership and support of this project. For more information about the competition please click the link Poetry Out Loud
City Regional Participants & Winners
Adeleah Reynoso (1st Place) Taft High School
Vanali Desai (2nd Place) Stephen T. Mather High School
Sage Kenny (3rd Place/Alternate) Von Steuben High School
Gabrielle Inan-Lynch The Chicago High School For Agricultural Sciences
J’Nya Fairley Gary Comer Prep
Metro/Suburban Regional Participants & Winners:
Sidney Bester (1st Place) Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Yohanna Endashaw (2nd Place) Niles West High School
Julia Bolash (3rd Place Alternate) Rolling Meadows High School
Nina Malhotra Niles North High School
Frank Tagoe John Hersey High School
Rachael Over Deerfield High School
Magdalena Lacka East Leyden High School
Tom Rudolph Northridge Preparatory School
Reet Gohar Wheaton Warrenville South H.S.
Peter Greco Maine West High School
*Photos by Sophia Guadalupe Padgett Perez
This program is made possible with support by the Illinois Arts Council Agency