New Mexico Arts


February 19, 2024

Greg Gurule


High School Students in New Mexico Compete in National Poetry Recitation Competition

[Santa Fe, NM] — New Mexico Arts announces the state finals for Poetry Out Loud®. Presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, 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. On Sunday, March 3, nine high school students from high schools across New Mexico will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at St. Francis Auditorium, inside the New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave, Santa Fe. Special guest performance by EmiArte Flamenco Youth de Santa Fe.  

Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. At the New Mexico finals, competitors will recite works they memorized from an anthology of more than 1,200 classic and contemporary poems. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials—all available online—which teachers may choose to use in their classrooms. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.3 million students and 76,000 teachers from 19,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

“We are looking forward to celebrating New Mexico’s 19th annual Poetry Out Loud state finals in Santa Fe with student competitors representing schools from across New Mexico--from Las Cruces to Montezuma, and Albuquerque to Carlsbad. This program, available to any high school in New Mexico, is an excellent example of how public funding for the arts provides access to arts and culture activities in communities both big and small everywhere in our great state.” – Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Executive Director.

The following high school students will be representing their school at the Poetry Out Loud New Mexico Final: 

Sama Lilo, Albuquerque School of Excellence

Ulani Radtke, Arrowhead Park Early College High School

Nakia Thomas, Carlsbad High School

Noor Kaur, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School

Ariana Thiel-Hadjilambrinos, La Cueva High School

Jasper Goldberg, Public Academy for the Performing Arts

Kaitlyn Lubega, UWC-USA

Seth McLaughlin, V. Sue Cleveland High School

Dante Salim, Volcano Vista High School 

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud New Mexico finals will receive $200, and the winner’s representing school or organization will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for their representing school or organization to purchase poetry materials. 

The New Mexico champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC this May. All 55 state and jurisdictional champions will compete in the national semifinals on Wednesday, May 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, with the top nine students advancing to the finals on Thursday, May 2, from 7:00 to 9:15 p.m. ET. Both days are free and open to the public and will be available through a one-time-only webcast at In total, $50,000 in awards and school/organization stipends, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be presented at the National Finals. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation recognizes the power of words to transform lives. The Foundation works to amplify poetry and celebrate poets by fostering spaces for all to create, experience, and share poetry. Follow the Poetry Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and Poetry magazine on Twitter.

About New Mexico Arts 

New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the state arts agency.  New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico. 

 Contact: Kevin Lenkner, Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator

Office:  (505) 412-5791 

Related Photos

Michelle Laflamme-Childs

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