Nine students win $25,000 in prizes at the 2020 Poetry In Voice Online National Finals

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Montreal, April 17, 2020 – Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is proud to announce the nine winners of its annual poetry recitation contest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 24 Semifinalists from high schools and cegeps were unable to recite their chosen poems in front of a live audience in Montreal as planned. Instead, they recorded recitation videos, which were judged by an esteemed panel of poets: Joséphine Bacon, Gwen Benaway, Moe Clark, Anne-Marie Desmeules, Pierre Nepveu, and Greg Santos. The Online National Finals were hosted by former CBC Radio personality Johanne Blais. The video of the Online National Finals is available on the organization’s website: https://www.poetryinvoice.com/recite/senior-nationals

Scott Griffin, Founder of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, expressed his admiration for the students’ work: “To recite poetry in front of a camera in an empty room is already quite something. But to manage to do it with such emotion and conviction is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to all!”

Over 20,000 students learned a poem by heart this year as part of the recitation contest. School champions entered the Online Qualifiers, and the 24 top-scoring students advanced to the Semifinals. Given that they were unable to travel to and experience the city of Montréal as part of the National Finals, the Semifinalists were instead awarded $500 each.

And the nine winners are:

English Stream

2020 English Stream Finalists

Nawal Semir (right) won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the library of Glenlawn Collegiate, Winnipeg, MB (with $500 reserved for the purchase of poetry books) for the best combined score of three recitations in English.

Joyce Chen (left) won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of Little Flower Academy, Vancouver, BC for the purchase of poetry books.

Divyan Karunakaran (centre) won the third prize of $500, and $250 for the library of Eric Hamber Secondary School, Vancouver, BC for the purchase of poetry books.

 

French Stream

2020 French Stream Finalists

Minh Duc Hoang (centre) won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the library of École internationale de Montréal, Montréal, QC (with $500 reserved for the purchase of poetry books) for the best combined score of one poem in English and one poem in French.

Léane Plouffe (right) won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of Collège Lionel-Groulx, Ste-Thérèse, QC for the purchase of poetry books.

Delicia Akimana (left) won the third prize of $500, and $250 for the library of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, Windsor, ON for the purchase of poetry books.

 

Bilingual Stream

2020 Bilingual Stream Finalists

Jenny Wang (right) won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the library of Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montréal, QC (with $500 reserved for the purchase of poetry books) for the best combined score of one poem in English and one poem in French.

Lysiane Kouakou (centre) won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of Sir Winston Churchill High School, Calgary, AB for the purchase of poetry books.

Farah Elnakoury (left) won the third prize of $500, and $250 for the library of École secondaire Etienne-Brûlé, Toronto, ON for the purchase of poetry books.

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About Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie:

Founded by Scott Griffin, chairman and founder of the illustrious Griffin Trust for Excellence In Poetry, Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is a registered charity that inspires students across Canada to read, recite, and write poetry. In addition to running two national student recitation competitions and many local team recitation contests, the organization also provides an anthology of classic and contemporary poems, comprehensive teaching materials, and a network of over 300 poets who visit classrooms, create educational materials, and judge recitation contests, all at no cost to schools or teachers. Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

 

About Canada Council for the Arts:

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

 

For more information, including interviews with the competitors or with David Smith, Director of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, please contact:

Myriam Comtois, Myriam communications Myriam.comtois@myriamcommunications.com 514 462.1383

Natalie Dion, le bureau de Natalie nd@bureaudenatalie.ca 514 266.3466