Back to Blog

Knightdale Student Wins NC’s Poetry Out Loud Competition

Today we’re sending out big congratulations to Gabriella Burwell of Knightdale Hight School: Gabriella won North Carolina’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud competition!

Next up? The national semi-finals, where Gabriella will compete against representatives from each of the competition’s 55 states and jurisdictions. The semi-finals happen May 1, and the nine finalists will compete on June 5. Both events will be livestreamed here.

Gabriella began the competition at the local level with her theatre teacher and Poetry Out Loud coach, Mathew Clay Raines. Gabriella won North Carolina with her recitation of Dudley Randall’s poem “Ballad of Birmingham.” (View Gabriella’s reading here.) Gabriella won $200 for taking North Carolina, and Knightdale High School received $500 toward the purchase of poetry materials.

In before-times, Gabriella also would have received an all-expenses paid trip (with chaperone) to the semi-finals in Washington, DC, but due to COVID-19 concerns, this year’s semi-finals and finals will be virtual. At the national finals, a total of $50K is awarded annually.

From the website:

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. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

For more information about how to compete next year, click here.

Want to organize a contest at the local level? Find helpful resources at the North Carolina Arts Council website, or on the Poetry Out Loud website, here.

And don’t forget to watch Gabriella compete on May 1!