Art Works Blog

Who will be the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Champion?

Tonight these nine talented young people will battle it out, or, rather, recite it out, to find out which one of them will be the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Did we mention that whoever wins will have made it to the top spot out of the more than 300,000 high schoolers who participated in Poetry Out Loud nationwide this school year?

To get to know them a bit, we asked the competitors about their favorite writers, what they'd like to invent, what they're passionate about, and, of course, which superpowers they wish they had. Here's what they had to say.

MAEVA ORDAZ, ALASKA POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMPION

 
A young woman stands on stage reciting into a microphone

Maeva Ordaz competes at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals.

"I don't have a Twitter handle, but if I did it would be '@starbucks4life. My favorite writers are William Carlos Williams, Christopher Marlowe, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez." -- Maeva Ordaz

LEVI LAKOTA LOWE, CALIFORNIA POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
A young man on stage performing

Levi Lakota Lowe recites at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals.

"I am passionate about coloring the world around me with the English language." -- Levi Lakota Lowe

OWEN ELPHICK, CONNECTICUT POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

a tall young man in a suit and bowtie recites on stage into a microphone

Owen Elphick recites one of his poems at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals.

 

"I would like the ability to travel in time and space without causing any problems. That or to love someone without causing them any pain." -- Owen Elphick

PARIS J. STROUD, GEORGIA POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
a young black woman recites a poem on stage

Paris J. Stroud at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud Semifinals.

"My favorite poet used to be Shakespeare, but Keats has somehow stolen my heart." -- Paris J. Stroud

EMMA LIBERSKY, INDIANA POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
a young white woman recites a poem on stage into a microphone

Emma Libersky recites at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals.

"I would like to invent a cure for Alzheimers, and something that would turn every chair into a spinny chair." -- Emma Libersky

CASEY RYAN GOGGIN, NORTH CAROLINA POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
a very tall slender young white man in a suit recites a poem into a microphone

Casey Ryan Goggin at the mic during the Region One Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals.

"I am passionate about dogs, mozzarella sticks, poetry (duh), and being an advocate for social equality (from dispelling racial stigmas to marriage equality to feminism)." -- Casey Ryan Goggin

SARAH BINAU, OHIO POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

a young white woman reciting a poem on stage

Sarah Binau recites one of her poems during the first semifinals round of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

"I would invent un-ending erasers, and my superpower would be to fly." -- Sarah Binau

SAM TERRY, TEXAS POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
a young man enthusiastically recites a poem on stage

Sam Terry takes the stage during the last semifinals round of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Finals. 

"I'm passionate about theater, language, and the stars." -- Sam Terry

IAN WALLS, WISCONSIN POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMP

 
a young man recites a poem on stage

Ian Walls takes his turn during the second round of semifinals competition at the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

"When I was five, my favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. After years of studying literary legends in school, I'd have to say that it's still amongst my favorites." -- Ian Walls

Who do you think has what it takes to take top honors this year? Watch the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Finals live at arts.gov--or join us in person in DC at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium--to cheer on your favorite! 

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