Our sister sites:



March 3, 2021 —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 $200 award is Elizabeth (Lizzy) Soria Ceja, 12th grade. The second-place winner and recipient of a $100 award is Emma Ordonez-Enos, 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 25th, ten 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 and Napa Bookmine.

Lizzy Soria Ceja in “Poetry Out Loud Napa Countywide Competition 2021” Virtual Competition YouTube Video

Ceja, who will now move on to the state competition, captured the judges’ attention with her graceful recitation of two poems that speak to the human condition and female empowerment: “Happiness” by Jane Kenyon and “How to Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón. With her unique use of tone and expression, Ordonez-Enos brought new understanding to Jehanne Dubrow’s “Fairytale with Laryngitis and Resignation Letter” and “Poem” by Jorie Graham. Both students credit their teacher, Jennifer LaMonte, along with their ACNV recitation coach, Joseph O’Malley, for helping them gain a greater understanding of the poems and the dramatic recitation format. 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 the Napa Upper Valley Boys & Girls Club, Madilynn Davis & Melody Kondor.

From New Technology High School, Lars Lindroos & Alexander Sanborn-Walker.

From Justin-Siena High School, Gabrielle George.

The Napa County winner will advance to the California State contest on March 15-16, 2020. 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.

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