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Poetry Out Loud and Spoken


PRHS Freshman Wins First Place in SLO County Poetry Out Loud Competition

Bishop, in grade 9, earned the top county spot after performing “I Was Once a Child” by Victoria Chang and “You, If No One Else” by Tino Villanueva. Three SLO Arts judges evaluated the video submissions, scoring them for memory, poise, voice, and “dramatic appropriateness.”

Students can advance to the Poetry Out Loud county level if they are first judged as “Best of School” in competitions held in December and January on their respective campuses. The council estimates that nearly 1,000 SLO County students each year memorize poems and attempt to fulfill the judging standards of the national Poetry Out Loud effort. 

Bishop will move on to Poetry Out Loud State Competition, where three video submissions are due in early March. The California Poetry Out Loud Champion will be announced after video judging on Mar. 19, 2023. The state champion is invited to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud competition in person in Washington, DC on May 8-10, 2023.



First place – Blair bishop 

reciting “I Once Was A Child” by Victoria Chang 

Blair Bishop
Jazmin Villareal

Second place – jazmin villareal

reciting “What to Say upon Being Asked to Be Friends” by Julian Talamantez Brolaski


third place – liliana line 

reciting “Under the Edge of February”  by Jayne Cortez


Liliana Line
The Narrators – from left to right: Smith and Robles 

The event was held in the PAC (Performing Arts Center) where Seniors Tiffany Robles and Zoe Smith narrated the event.

There were a total 26 reciters – not including Robles’ and Zoe’s mock poems.

Creative Writing Club conducted this event with the help of English Teachers Alicia Witman and Sarah Ramirez.

Students got to practice their public speaking skills as well earn prizes for meeting the criteria for physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding, and the overall performance.


I thought it was an amazing experience I may have been terribly nervous but even then I still felt comfortable enough to go up in front of everyone…” – Rosemarie Ortiz (12)

Rosemarie Ortiz

The top three winners received baskets containing supplies such as bookmarks, notebooks, and more. The first place winner of the Poetry Out Loud event also received a $500 scholarship to travel to a Poetry Out Loud state competition (state and date to be determined) whilst the runner-up received a $200 scholarship.

Poetry Out Loud is described by its website as “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,” helping students to master “master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.” There were four judges, with two specializing in one aspect of judging criteria: Jeffrey Mount (performance judge), Sophia Anderson (accuracy judge), Aaron Cantrell, and Marisa Scoggins. All the judges had criteria to determine the winners.


The Judges – from left to right: Cantrell, Scoggins, Anderson, Mount

Evaluation Sheet

– Physical Presence 

– Voice and Articulation

– Dramatic Appropriateness 

– Evidence of Understanding 

– Overall Performance

The Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Sheet
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