Interlochen student becomes Poetry Out Loud state champion

Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 15:00:53-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — There are many different ways one can express themselves. For these students, it is through the art of poetry.

The Michigan Humanities and the Michigan Arts & Culture Council have announced Senior Gabriel Blaikie from Interlochen Arts Academy as the 2022 Poetry Out Loud State Champion.

“This year’s event was so impactful. It was incredible to watch the students connect through the workshops and competition," said the CEO of Michigan Humanities and Acting President Jennifer Rupp in a press release. "We are so fortunate to have been able to meet in person this year to experience the tremendous work these students put into this program."

Champion-Gabriel Blaikie.jpg
Gabriel Blaikie

According to the press release, contestants had to recite works they memorized from an anthology that contained more than 1,100 poems.

Michigan Humanities state that Blaikie recited “Tomorrow” by Dennis O’Driscoll, “A Thousand Martyrs” by Aphra Behn, and “Windy City” by Stuart Dybek.

Here are the runner-ups of the 2022 Poetry Out Loud competition:

  1. Nour Dagher, Star International Academy - Dearborn Heights
  2. Adeline Frazier, Houghton High School - Houghton
  3. Audrey Gietzen, Petoskey High School - Petoskey

The organization states that Blaikie will virtually compete in the national finals in May 2022. The Poetry Out Loud national finals will award schools and organizations a total of $50,000 in stipends.