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High School Students Nationwide Compete In 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals

Author: North Carolina Arts Council

For months, students from all across the country have been memorizing and reciting the words of poets such as Tracy K. Smith, Ilya Kaminsky, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, among others, all in the hopes of being named the 2022 Poetry Out Loud™ National Champion, which includes a grand prize of $20,000. The semifinals will be broadcast Sunday, May 1, 2022, at Arts.gov/Poetry-Out-Loud.


After participating in local and state competitions, one student from each of the 50 states, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—55 total—are advancing to the Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals. From those semifinals, nine students will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, broadcast on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at Arts.gov/Poetry-Out-Loud. In total, $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed as part of the national finals.

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies. This national program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students, helping them to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Read the NEA's complete press release here

Meet North Carolina State Champion Gabriella Burwell 

NC Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Gabriella Burwell | Knightdale High School

Congratulations to our 2022 NC State Champion Gabriella Burwell from Knightdale High School! Streaming May 1 on NEA's Poetry Out Loud page, Gabriella will be competing in the first round of the semifinals, beginning at 12 p.m.

Fun facts about Gabriella 

  • Her favorite poet is Emily Dickinson "because of her conviction and her ability to stand out and be free."
  • Her favorite pastime is anything within the arts.
  • She is involved with dance and theater and is a member of the Knightdale High School Dance Company and International Thespians.
  • Her post-graduation plans are to hopefully attend Elon University.
  • Her desired major is Political Science. 
  • She is also interested in minoring in Performing Arts. 

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