2022 Hawaiʻi Poetry Out Loud Champion

April 29, 2022
Tasha Kanoa

Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and Honolulu Theatre for Youth Announce 2022 Hawai’i Poetry Out Loud Champion 

Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and state coordinator, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, are pleased to announce that Tasha Kanoa is the 2022 Hawai’i Poetry Out Loud Champion. Tasha, 12th grade, represented Mid-Pacific School of the Arts in Honolulu and won over a competitive field of 11 students representing high schools on Kauai, Maui, O’ahu, and Hawai’i Island. Due to the on-going pandemic, the Hawaii finals were held as a video submission contest in early March. The first runner-up was Alana Clayson, 10th grade from Punahou School. The third place winner was Tessa Chin, 11th grade from Maui Preparatory Academy. 

“I was very surprised to find out that I’d won the State competition. I felt honored for the opportunity to represent my state in the National competition, but also intimidated at the same time” shared Tasha after winning. “Poetry Out Loud has been a topic in my family for years. After my older sister participated a few years ago, I felt driven to as well. Due to COVID, the competitive process was much different than previous years, but ultimately a very organized, eventful, and fun experience.”

Guest judges for the Hawai’i contest were Maya Soetoro-Ng, Stephanie Conching, and Terence Liu. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including physical presence, voice and articulation, accuracy, and evidence of understanding.

Tasha will compete in the Poetry Out Loud national semifinals which will be held virtually in May 2022. Students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa will provide video submissions for this semi-finals competition which will be broadcast on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at arts.gov.  Hawai’i is part of Region 3 and will broadcast at 12 PM Hawai’i Standard Time.

The top nine students will move on to the finals competition which will be broadcast on Sunday, June 5 at arts.gov. The Poetry Out Loud national finals will present a total of $50,000 in awards and school/organization stipends, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded.

Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Winners advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials all available online which teachers may choose to use in their classrooms. Schools are welcome to download these resources at poetryoutloud.org. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

About Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Honolulu Theatre for Youth is Hawai’i’s non-profit professional theatre company providing theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of Hawai’i’s young people and families. Founded in 1955, HTY is recognized the world over as one of America’s most honored theatres. Explore HTY online at htyweb.org.

About State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

The mission of the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) is to promote, perpetuate, preserve and encourage culture and the arts as central to the quality of life of the people of Hawai’i.  The SFCA holds as a core value support for the appreciation and practice of the arts by people throughout their lives.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, visit PoetryFoundation.org.

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