Final Contest for 2024 Poetry Out Loud Competition on May 2, 2024

Who will be this year's Poetry Out Loud National Champion? With photo of nine 2024 finalists

Photos of nine finalists by James Kegley

WHAT: Out of a field of 55 state and jurisdictional champions, nine high school students are advancing to the 2024 Poetry Out Loud National Finals on May 2. These students will recite classic and contemporary poems, competing for the title of 2024 Poetry Out Loud National Champion and a $20,000 award. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation along with the state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 4.4 million students since it began in 2005. This year’s state and jurisdictional champions advanced from more than 160,000 students nationwide.

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, May 2, 7:00–9:15 p.m. ET at Lisner Auditorium, The George Washington University, 730 21st Street NW, Washington, DC. In addition, there will be a live, one-time-only webcast at

WHO: Hosted by Huascar Medina, poet, editor, and National Council on the Arts member. Judges are H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Amber McBride, Lupe Mendez, Mei Ann Teo, and Laura Tohe. The evening will also include a performance by acclaimed Haitian-American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Leyla McCalla.

2024 Poetry Out Loud National Finalists:

  • District of Columbia Champion Nyla Dinkins, a 10th-grade student at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School 
  • Florida Champion Niveah Glover, a 12th-grade student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts 
  • Georgia Champion Tiana Renee Jones, a 10th-grade student at Whitefield Academy 
  • Louisiana Champion Grisham Locke, a 12th-grade student at Ruston High School representing the Ruston Cultural District 
  • Minnesota Champion Ariana Kimball, a 12th-grade student at Washburn High School 
  • South Carolina Champion Jessie Leitzel, a 12th-grade student at Charleston County School of the Arts 
  • South Dakota Champion Grace Powell, a 12th-grade student at Dakota Valley High School 
  • Texas Champion Oluwabori Fadairo, an 11th-grade student at The Hockaday School 
  • West Virginia Champion Willow Peyton, a 12th-grade student at St. Marys High School

INTERVIEWS: Pre-event interviews with the nine national finalists are available on request. Contact Carolyn Coons at to arrange an interview.


CONTACT: Media must send a request for coverage to by 5 p.m. ET tonight. Video crews covering the Thursday night national finals must arrive by 6:45 p.m. to reserve a space. No flash photography.


Carolyn Coons (NEA),, 202-701-3977 

Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson (Poetry Foundation),, 312-799-8065