2023 Poetry Out Loud Competition Winners!

Vintage High School Students Sweep Napa County Poetry Out Loud Contest!

Colette St. Aubin, VHS Senior (Left) & Geoffrey Weber, VHS Junior (Right)
Photo Credit: Aperture Media & Design

Arts Council Napa Valley is pleased to announce that two Vintage High School students are the winners of the County-wide contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The first-place winner and recipient of a $250 award is Colette St. Aubin, 12th grade. The first runner-up winner and recipient of a $100 award is Geoffrey Weber, 11th grade.

The competition, presented in partnership with Arts Council Napa Valley, California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. On February 21st, five high school students from Napa County participated in the Poetry Out Loud County Competition hosted by the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center and sponsored by the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation,  Napa Bookmine, and The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.

Colette St. Aubin, 2023 Napa County Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition
Photo Credit: Aperture Media & Design

St. Aubin, who will now move on to the state competition, recited “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood followed by “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay in the second round. Weber, our first runner-up, started with “truth” by Gwendolyn Brooks and finished with “The Lamb” by Linda Gregg.  A complete list of the contestants and the poems recited can be found on the Arts Council Napa Valley website. 

A much-deserved recognition also goes to the contestants who won first and second place at their respective schools & organizations across the county. These students’ performances stood out amongst their peers, carrying them to the county-wide competition.

From Justin-Siena High School, Martina Poletti, from Saint Helena High School, Jacob Zuniga, and from New Technology High School, Rin Giguere.

Colette St. Aubin, the Napa County winner, will advance to the California State contest and be aided in creating a video that will be live-streamed on March 19, 2023, at 6:30. From there, winners will ultimately go to the National Finals in Washington DC, May 8-10.  To learn more about the California Poetry Out Loud contest, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.

About Poetry Out Loud

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. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. Learn more at poetryoutloud.org.

About Arts Council Napa Valley

Arts Council Napa Valley enriches the lives of the greater Napa community through arts and culture. With roots back to 1963, the Arts Council advances the arts in Napa County through diverse cultural programs and community services responding to our three core initiatives: Cultural Tourism, Art in Public Spaces, and Arts in Education. For more information and to become a member, please visit www.artscouncilnapavalley.org.