Colorado’s Poetry Out Loud Champion Headed to National Finals

Colorado’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud Champion, Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid of Fountain Valley High School in Colorado Springs, will compete for the title of 2022 Poetry Out Loud™ National Champion this Sunday, June 5 in a live, virtual event. Reid will be one of nine students vying for the coveted title and a $20,000 prize as part of the annual poetry recitation competition from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.

A one-time-only webcast will be available on the NEA’s website at beginning at 5 p.m. MT. Poet, publisher, and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander will host the virtual event which will include poetry recitations by each of the finalists and the announcement of the National Champion. 

In March, Reid earned the title of the 2022 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Champion after competing against students from 10 Colorado high schools at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals. She received $500 and advanced to the Virtual Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals in May. Her school, Fountain Valley School, received $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Reid was also recognized as the 2021 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Champion

“Colorado’s talented young artists are the bright future of our vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene, and I am thrilled to congratulate Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid as she represents Colorado on the national stage,”  said Gov. Polis. 

“Heading to Nationals is a huge honor, and I am beyond grateful and EVEN more excited. Poetry is so prevalent in every day and it is an invaluable form of expression,” said Reid. 

“As a poet myself, I’m inspired and buoyed by the incredibly talented, smart, and thoughtful high school students who take part in Poetry Out Loud,” said Michael Henry, Executive Director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. “It’s not easy to get up on stage and to perform, from memory, some very difficult and complex poems, but they do it with incredible grace and power every year.”

Colorado’s Poetry Out Loud program is sponsored by Colorado Creative Industries, housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

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