2018 Poetry Out Loud Hawaii State Champion

Posted on Mar 5, 2018 in Arts Education, Blog Post, Enews, Featured, Poetry Out Loud

Photo of Nicholas Amador with text reading "2018 Poetry Out Loud Hawaii State Champion Nicholas Amador"

Congratulations to Nicholas Amador, Hawaii’s Poetry Out Loud State Champion! Nicholas will compete in the national finals April 23-25 in Washington D.C. at the Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University. The national semifinals and finals will be webcast live by Poetry Out Loud.

Punahou School senior Nicholas Amador is Hawaii’s Poetry Out Loud state champion for 2018, and will compete in the national finals in Washington, DC, April 23-25, 2018. Nicholas recited “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, “Two Guitars” by Victor Hernandez Cruz and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus. The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) congratulates Nicholas and Punahou School’s Poetry Out Loud coordinator Lara Cowell for this prestigious achievement. The SFCA also thanks the Honolulu Theatre for Youth for their Poetry Out Loud partnership, which supports Hawaii’s participation, this year’s judges, Robbie Dingeman, Joseph Han, Lee Cataluna, and Laurel Nakanishi, and master of ceremonies Ben Gutierrez. Nicholas is a fan of musical theater and wants to direct and write plays in the future. This is Nicholas’ third year as Hawaiʻi State Champion.

Hawaiʻi students have placed in the top three nationally three times. Nicholas took third place in 2016, second place in 2017, and former Mid-Pacific Institute student Kellie Anae took third place in 2006. The competition helped Anae earn a scholarship to Louisiana State University, who says “this event helps young voices come alive through poetry.”

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies (including Hawaii’s State Foundation on Culture and the Arts) to support Poetry Out Loud, a free high school program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students across the country. Poetry Out Loud satisfies more than half of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students will have the opportunity to discuss poems and to write poetry of their own. The program guide includes optional lesson plans for the teacher, as well as all other elements the teacher needs to implement the program.

Additional information about Poetry Out Loud is available at www.poetryoutloud.org. Hawai‘i high school teachers interested in participating next year can contact:

Vivien Lee
Arts Program Specialist
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Telephon: (808) 586-0768
Email: vivien.lee@hawaii.gov