McNick student wins Cincy regional Poetry Out Loud title

An Archbishop McNichols High School student will represent Greater Cincinnati in Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

Amanda Braig emerged victorious over Mt. Healthy High School student Chisom Eze in the regional semifinal hosted by Mt. Healthy Alliance on Dec. 15.

Braig’s rendition of “All This and More” by Mary Karr resonated deeply with the judges, according to Mt. Healthy Alliance, a Christian nonprofit based in Greater Cincinnati.

Amanda Braig at a reading hosted by Ohio Arts Council in August.

In a release, the judges praised Braig’s exceptional command of language and a profound understanding of the art of poetry. They noted being impressed by her poise, expression and “the evident connection she felt with the chosen piece.”

“(Braig) not only captured the essence of the poem, but also engaged the audience, leaving a lasting impression on everyone in attendance,” the statement continued.

Supporting Cincy’s next poets

Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative. It aims to support young people and students as they refine their skills in reciting classic and contemporary poetry and growing their appreciation for the art form.

Local competitions receive sponsorship by local organizations. Mt. Healthy Alliance serves more than 1,500 individuals each month through its services, including a food pantry. The nonprofit sponsored the Poetry Out Loud regional as part of its youth and after-school programming.

The contest at Mt. Healthy United Method Church took place in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, SOMAA and the Ohio Arts Council. It was one of six regionals across the state. Dayton’s was held Dec. 7 at Edison State Community College, sponsored by Piqua Arts Council.

Chisom Eze.
Chisom Eze

“Each participant demonstrated a remarkable ability to convey the depth and emotion of their chosen poems, making the judges’ task of selecting a winner no easy feat,” Mt. Healthy Alliance said of the Southwest Ohio regional.

As the local winner, Braig advances to the state Poetry Out Loud competition in Columbus on Friday, Feb. 9. The winner of Ohio’s competition will have a chance to compete for $20,000 and the national championship. Nationals are Tuesday, April 30 in Washington, D.C. 

Mt. Health Alliance


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