PLAINFIELD, NJ - Arianna Diaz, a senior at Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies (PAAAS), won her school’s competition of Poetry Out Loud during an event held Thursday at the school.  

This is the first round of competitions that will place Diaz with opponents from six other regions in New Jersey who will be competing at the New Jersey Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition on March 12.

The PAAAS contest was held among students who first won their individual classroom competitions. The students performed dramatic recitations of poems of varying lengths and genres.

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Lead English Teacher Amy Guzman, who coordinated the event, said, “all the participants did an exemplary job in reciting and performing poetry.”

The PAAAS Poetry Out Loud competition named two other winners.  Second place went to Danielle McGowan (10th grade), and Serenity Washington (10th Grade) placed third.

Other participants included Si’erra Jenkins (12th Grade), Khireyaa Mitchell (10th Grade), Karen Gomez (9th Grade), Ruben Salazar (9th Grade), and Laura Sanabria (9th Grade).

New Jersey holds six regional contests in February to determine candidates for the National Poetry Out Loud Competition that will held at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., April 23-25.  

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages high school students to learn about classical and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation.

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