Lighthouse Writers Workshop Announces Winners of Poetry Out Loud Contest

DENVER, CO (March 4, 2022) — Lighthouse Writers Workshop announces the winners of the Colorado contest of Poetry Out Loud™. The 2022 Colorado POL State Champion is Aidyn Reid from Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs. Our State Runner-up is Josephine Briggs from Niwot High School. Our third place winner and second runner-up is Rize Simmons from Windsor High School. 

Poetry Out Loud, presented in partnership with Colorado Creative Industries, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization, performance, and competition. Since the program began in 2005, more than four million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud. 

Competing against students from 10 Colorado high schools at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Lakewood Cultural Center, Reid had the highest scores for her performances of “This is Not a Small Voice,” by Sonia Sanchez, “My Therapist Wants to Know about my Relationship to Work,’ by Tiana Clark, and “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer,” by Walt Whitman. 

Reid will receive $500 and will advance to the national semi-finals—held virtually in Spring 2022—where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed. Reid’s school, Fountain Valley School, will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Briggs will receive $200, with $200 for the Niwot High School library. The Poetry Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded. 

Reid will represent Colorado at the Virtual Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals on May 1, 2022, and could go on to compete at the Virtual Poetry Out Loud National Finals, June 7, 2022. The winner of the national finals will receive a $20,000 scholarship.

In all Poetry Out Loud competitions, judges evaluate student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have created free, standards-based curriculum materials to support Poetry Out Loud including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, an online anthology, posters, and video and audio on the art of recitation. These resources are available for free at

For more information about Poetry Out Loud in Colorado, contact Roxanne Malia Banks via email at [email protected] or visit the POL page at

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, aims to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The Colorado chapter of Poetry Out Loud is presented by Colorado Creative Industries in partnership with Lighthouse Writers Workshop, collaboratively curating free curriculum and creating events and competitions throughout the state.

About Young Writers Program

The Young Writers Program at Lighthouse Writers Workshop connects children and teens to literature, new friends, and a writing community. Our workshops, whether at Lighthouse or at one of our dozens of partnering sites, are taught by published and award-winning authors and are designed to foster creativity and self-expression and to empower youth to find their voices through creative writing. For more information, visit

About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life. For more information, visit