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Local Student Qualifies for Nationals in Poetry Recitation Competition

Information and images provided by the Piqua Arts Council 

PIQUA - We have a state champion in our midst! On Friday, March 10, 2023, Piqua Arts Council sent 2 local students to the State Finals for the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Hiba Loukssi, a senior from Xenia High School, and Trista Boeke, a senior from Piqua High School, were two of nine students who qualified for the state competition.


   Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a program funded by National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is administered in partnership with State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The 18-year-old program encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. POL helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life.

   Students, supporters and guests all gathered in WOSU Public Media’s Ross Community Room in Columbus for the program. Finalists came from all over the state, including students from Toledo, Stewart, Cincinnati, Lisbon, and more. The talent and ambition of each participant shined through each round of poetry recitation, with emotions running high.

   After welcoming remarks from Ohio Arts Council’s Arts Learning Coordinator and State Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, Chiquita Mullins Lee, 3 rounds of poetry recitation and a guest poet presentation from Marcus Jackson, the state champion was announced. The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Ohio State Finals was Xenia High School senior, Hiba Loukssi, with her recited poems, Author’s Prayer by Ilya Kaminsky, There Are Birds Here by Jamaal May and The Paradox by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Hiba will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. for Nationals, where she will compete for the title and a $20,000 cash prize. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will be held May 8-10th, 2023, and streaming live at

   For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please visit

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