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Sacramento County Crowns 2023 Poetry Out Loud Winner

John F. Kennedy High School Student Wins Competition

Alex Yue and Julia Smith

2023 Poetry Out Loud winner Alex Yue (right) was recognized on stage, along with runner-up Julia Smith.

Alex Yue from John F. Kennedy High School (Sacramento City USD), is the winner of the 2023 Sacramento County Poetry Out Loud recitation contest. He took first place during the Sacramento County finals, held yesterday afternoon at Rosemont High School in Sacramento. Yue will now represent Sacramento County in this year’s California Poetry Out Loud competition, which be streamed live on March 19. Julia Smith from Elk Grove High School (Elk Grove USD) is the Sacramento County runner-up.

During the two-round county competition, five participants took turns reciting two poems of their choosing. Their recitations were scored by a panel of judges. The two rounds gave judges the opportunity to review each student’s range. Following the competition, the winner was recognized on stage by emcee Xanthi Sorriano, Executive Director of Communications for the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE).

The Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) will air a recording of the competition on Comcast channel 15: March 4 at 4:30 p.m. and March 5 at 9 a.m. The video will also be available on the SECC website after the broadcasts.

Poetry Out Loud Finalists

  • Isis Fowler, Inderkum High School (Natomas USD)
  • Samantha La, Natomas Charter School (Natomas USD)
  • Leah Nelson, Grant Union High School (Twin Rivers USD)
  • Julia Smith, Elk Grove High School (Elk Grove USD)
  • Alex Yue, John F. Kennedy High School (Sacramento City USD)

About Poetry Out Loud

The Sacramento County Poetry Out Loud competition encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The program provides students with the opportunity to perform poetry in English classes. Modeled after the National Spelling Bee structure, students start by competing in their local schools. The winners progress to regional and state competitions, with state winners competing at the national level. Poetry Out Loud was launched nationwide in 2006.

Sacramento County’s Poetry Out Loud program is supported by the Sacramento County Office of Education, California Poets in the Schools, and the Poetry Foundation. It is funded in part by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Competitor reciting poetry
Competitor reciting poetry
Competitor reciting poetry
Competitors posing on stage holding a CA Poetry Out Loud sign