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6 Ohio High School Students to Compete for 2022 Poetry Out Loud State Champion Title

Six Ohio high school students will compete for the title of 2022 Ohio Poetry Out Loud (POL) state champion on March 4, 2022.

Now in its 17th year, POL has connected high school students to poetry from a diverse array of poets from around the world and across the centuries. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, POL is administered in partnership with the state arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. POL encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life.

Students will recite their poems in the Ross Community Studio at WOSU Public Media in front of a limited in-person audience of their families and teachers. For the second year in a row, the competition will also be broadcast publicly via livestream.

The six students who will compete at the 2022 POL State Finals competition are:

  • Amaira Cochran, sophomore, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School
  • Maylin Dominguez, freshman, Toledo Early College High School
  • Pius Edzie, senior, St. Francis DeSales High School
  • Cameron Goehring, junior, Mount Healthy High School
  • Madeline Arizona Hamm, senior, Logan High School
  • Samira Sisson, freshman, Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School

The State Finals consists of three rounds. Each student will recite one poem in each round. Contest results will be determined by the cumulative scores from all three rounds, with the State Champion title awarded to the student with the highest score overall.

The State Finals will be adjudicated by three guest judges: poets Steve Abbott, Nancy Kangas, and Rose Smith. They will be joined by co-emcees, former State Senator Eric Kearney and 2016 Ohio POL State Champion Thomas Ellison. Ellison, who now serves as Ohio POL’s youth poetry ambassador, will read original poetry during the event.

The winner of the Ohio State Finals will go on to represent the Buckeye State at the POL National Semifinals, which will be held virtually on May 1. The top-ranked semifinalists will then progress to the POL National Finals, which will also be held virtually, on June 5.

Ohio’s 17th annual POL State Finals competition will begin on March 4 at 6 p.m. The event, which will be streamed for free at, is open virtually to the public. 

The nation’s largest youth poetry recitation competition is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council. The Poetry Out Loud program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry, master public-speaking skills, build self-confidence, and study their literary heritage.

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more about NEA.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Article by Amanda Etchison, Communications Strategist

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