Mia Ronn from California Named 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Champion

Ronn Receives a $20,000 Prize as Champion
A young woman with long hair stands on a stage with several boxes painted yellow and blue behind her.

2022 Poetry Out Loud National Champion Mia Ronn. Photo by 5:00 Films & Media

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation are pleased to share that Mia Ronn, a junior at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, California, 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. 

As National Champion, Ronn will receive a prize of $20,000. The second-place winner is Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid, a senior at Fountain Valley School of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who will receive a $10,000 prize. The third-place winner is Oscar Manuel Landa Samano, a senior at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Arizona, who will receive a $5,000 prize. The other six national finalists will each receive a $1,000 prize. The schools of each of the top nine finalists 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.” 

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. 

Photos and videos of the finalists are available for media use. To request an interview with Mia Ronn or any of the national finalists, please email Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov.

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. For more information about Poetry Out Loud and how to participate in the 2022–2023 program, visit PoetryOutLoud.org

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more. 

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, visit PoetryFoundation.org

About Mid Atlantic Arts

Mid Atlantic Arts was established in 1979 to promote and support multi-state arts programming in a region that includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is one of six regional arts organizations in the United States, and works in close partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and its member state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Mid Atlantic Arts distinguishes itself through its work in international cultural exchange, model programs in performing arts touring, its knowledge and presence in the jazz field, and its support of folk and traditional arts. For more information, visit www.midatlanticarts.org 


Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744
Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson (Poetry Foundation), eoconnellthompson@poetryfoundation.org, 312-799-8065