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Napa County 2022 Poetry Out Loud Winners

American Canyon High School Students Sweep Napa County Poetry Out Loud Contest

Mistura Bankole, ACHS Junior (Left) & Paige Rosal, ACHS Junior (Right)

Feb 22, 2021 —Arts Council Napa Valley is pleased to announce that two American Canyon 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 $200 award is Mistura Bankole, 11th grade. The first runner-up winner and recipient of a $100 award is Paige Rosal, 10th 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 4th and 7th, six high school students from Napa County virtually participated in the Poetry Out Loud County Competition produced 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.

Mistura Bankole  in “Poetry Out Loud Napa Countywide Competition 2022” Virtual Competition YouTube Video

Bankole, who will now move on to the state competition, recited an impassioned yet powerfully graceful rendition of “Cage Bird” by Maya Angelou. On her second recitation, Bankole narrated  “Brother I’ve Seen Some” by Kabir with a clever repartee–it felt as if she lived the story herself and was telling it first hand. Rosal, our first runner up, started with a strong performance of “Idea 61: Since There’s No Help, Come Let Us Kiss and Part” by Michael Drayton, and finished commandingly with “The Contract Says: We’d Like The Conversation To Be Bilingual” by Ada Limoń. 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 where they were able to perform for a wider virtual audience.

From Justin-Siena High School, Gabrielle George, from Vintage High School, Emma Ordonez-Enos, from Napa High School, Jenifer Canseco and Veronica Morris. 

Mistura Bankole, the Napa County winner, will advance to the California State contest on March 16, 2022. Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and compete virtually for the national championship, at a date to be determined this spring. To learn more about the California Poetry Out Loud contest, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.

To watch the Napa County 2022 Poetry Out Loud contest, visit our YouTube channel

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.artscouncilnv.org.