Poetry Out Loud


"Poetry, and art in general, means showing up with your best self. And whoever that may be, that in and of itself is beautiful. The more that we can bring our authentic selves, with hope, into the moment the more that moment will show up for us."
 - Amanda Gorman, youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history

 2024 New Mexico Poetry Out Loud State Finals

On Sunday, March 3, 2024, nine high school students from high schools across New Mexico participated in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at St. Francis Auditorium, inside the New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave, Santa Fe.

“This program, available to any high school in New Mexico, is an excellent example of how public funding for the arts provides access to arts and culture activities in communities both big and small everywhere in our great state.” Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Executive Director.

High school students representing their school at the Poetry Out Loud New Mexico Final:

Ariana Thiel-Hadjilambrinos

La Cueva High School, Albuquerque

Teacher/Coordinator – Rosemary Hood

Seth McLaughlin

Sue Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho

Teacher/Coordinator – Daniel Schneider

Nakia Thomas

Carlsbad High School, Carlsbad

Teacher/Coordinator – Erin Armendarez

Dante Salim

Volcano Vista High School, Albuquerque

Teacher/Coordinator – Desiree Montoya

Ulani Radtke

Arrowhead Park Early College High School, Las Cruces

Teacher/Coordinator – Kernie Zimmerman

Noor Kaur

Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, Albuquerque

Teacher/Coordinator – Heather Blanchard

Jasper Goldberg

Public Academy for Performing Arts, Albuquerque

Teacher/Coordinator – Aimee Wray

Kaitlyn Lubega, 2024 New Mexico Poetry Out Loud Champion

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud New Mexico finals will receive $200, and the winner’s representing school or organization will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for their representing school or organization to purchase poetry materials. 

The New Mexico champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC this May. All 55 state and jurisdictional champions will compete in the national semifinals from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, May 1, with the top nine students advancing to the finals 7-9:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 2. Both days are free and open to the public and will be available through a one-time-only webcast at arts.gov. In total, $50,000 in awards and school/organization stipends, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, will be presented at the National Finals. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.
See the event program Here

Poetry Out Loud Recitation Judges: Edward Pittman, Olivia Romo, Jasmine Cuffee, Don McIver

Prompter: Julie Book

A special performance was given by the students of EmiArteFlamenco Youth de Santa Fe directed by New Mexico’s own La Emi. Music provided by EmiArteflamenco Academy Guitarist, Gabriel Osuna and Singer, Meagan Chandler.

New Mexico Poet Laureate, Lauren Camp welcomed attendees and shared an inspirational poem.

Michelle Laflamme-Childs: Femcee

Jessica Helen Lopez: Student Coordinator

Kevin Lenkner: Program Coordinator

New Mexico Arts Staff | Volunteers

Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Meredith Doborski, Anna Blyth, Lilliana Miano-Phillips, Cynthia Gonzales, Maggie Hanley, Kevin Lenkner, Sue Sneeringer, Claude Smith, Olivia Amaya Ortiz, Katie Bruell

Interns: Christopher Branch, Elijah Castaneda

Volunteer: Kieran Lenkner

Event Audio

Santa Fe Audio Visual

Event Photography

Light Benders Visuals, Silver City

Poster Illustration

“Reconstructed Memories” by Yolanda Zhou, UWC-USA

2024 New Mexico Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key Winner

Photos by Light Benders Visuals

See the 2024 Photo Gallery Here

Poetry Ourselves New Mexico

Poetry Ourselves New Mexico

Award Of Creative Excellence

Isabella Lobaina, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School

Award Of Creative Merit

TaLinda Cearley, Carlsbad High School

Brisaeda Lopez, Carlsbad High School

Kaitlyn Robertson, Carlsbad High School

Poetry Ourselves New Mexico Judge

Alex Ziete

 For more information contact New Mexico Arts Poetry Oourselves Coordinator, Kevin Lenkner at (505) 412-5791 or kevin.lenkner@dca.nm.gov

"Although my plans are not clear cut, I hope to find a way to find a career that incorporates my creativity and art to help heal other people."
 - Vanessa Sosa, 2021 finalist, Arrowhead Park Early College High School, Las Cruces, NM