The Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held at the studios of Arizona PBS in Downtown Phoenix on March 3. Ten students, representing schools from Tucson to Ganado, a chapter of the Navajo Nation, recited poems by a diverse array of literary luminaries, including Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, and Tato Laviera.
After two rounds of recitations, four students advanced to the final round, including Victoria Aiken, a senior at North High School, and Paul Cassidy, a junior at Brophy College Preparatory.
An esteemed panel of judges evaluated the recitations, including two Poets Laureate and a former Arizona State Champion. The winner was Sophie Weinzinger, a junior at Coconino High School in in Flagstaff. Cassidy came in second, and Aiken came in third.
The event was recorded and will be broadcast on Arizona PBS at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6.
The Poetry Out Loud national semifinals will be held in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 24 at Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. Nine finalists will then advance to the national finals, also held at Lisner Auditorium, on Wednesday, April 25.