MHS student crowned champion at the Poetry Out Loud finals

North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) Education Director and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Rebecca Engelman, left, and NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow, right, congratulate Minot High School student Gabrielle Johnson as she reacts to placing first.

The North Dakota Council on the Arts held the 2023 edition of the Poetry Out Loud State Finals on Feb. 27 in Bismarck and a local wordsmith from Minot High took home first place.

MHS Senior Gabrielle Johnson performed alongside other student poets from around the state, but won a trophy, $200 and the privilege of representing North Dakota at the national finals set for May 8-10 in Washington, D.C., with expenses paid by Poetry Out Loud (POL). Minot High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books, and the honor of laying claim to the POL Traveling Trophy.

Johnson is first Minot student to win the N.D. POL competition since 2016 and will be competing with her fellow finalists for the $20,000 grand prize.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through various classroom competitions, and in school visits from poets. More than 4 million students have participated in POL’s National Recitation Contest since 2005 according to the organization, providing the students with an opportunity to learn great poetry, explore their literary heritage and gain confidence in public speaking skills.


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