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2020-21 Poetry Out Loud Idaho State Final

2021 Poetry Out Loud Idaho State Final

Poetry Out Loud  encourages the study of great poetry through a dynamic recitation competition for high school students.

During the 2020-2021 season, 1,982 students and 91 teachers at 26 Idaho schools and libraries participated in Poetry Out Loud. The champions of 15 school contests advanced to the Idaho State Final.


Leta Harris Neustaedter, M.C.

Leta Harris Neustaedter is an arts educator, musician, actor, clinical social worker and community organizer. She owns Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio where she teaches life skills through the arts. She has been performing for over 30 years.

Adrian San Miguel, Judge

Adrian San Miguel is the Director of Program Services for the Idaho Division of Career Technical Education in downtown Boise. Originally from Texas, he received degrees in vocal performance from Baylor University. Adrian teaches music courses on jazz and popular music at CWI and has performed with Opera Idaho, Critical Mass Vocal Arts, and St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Boise.

Ameerah Bader, Judge

Ameerah Bader is an illustrator and poet residing in Boise, Idaho. They received their BFA in both Illustration and Printmaking at Boise State University in 2019. They were selected as an artist in residence at Wingtip Press in 2018 and have performed at Storyfort for the past three years. Whatever subject they don't feel like drawing about, they write.

Dig Reeder, Judge

On a cold and rainy day in Burlington Ontario, amongst the machinery and whistles of the steel factories, the cry of a newborn baby was heard. That baby grew up across Canada and the US and is a painter, poet, and playwright. Dig Reeder is the co-founder of Death Rattle Writers Festival, Assistant editor and co-founder of the online literary journal Oroboro, past artist in residence at Bown Crossing Library, recipient of the Alexa Rose Foundation Grant and a Judge and Workshop Instructor for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Malia Collins, Judge

Malia Collins is Idaho’s current Writer in Residence. She grew up in Hawaii and now lives in Boise with her husband and two children. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the College of Western Idaho. Malia has published short stories and essays in a number of literary magazines, has two Hawaiian children’s books, and is currently working on a collection of essays about Hawaii.


Bee Taylor

Boise High School | Sharon Hanson

From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee
I Am Offering this Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca
April Love by Ernest Dowson

Bee Taylor is a 17 year-old non-binary writer and artist. Their dream is to be able to tell stories with their art via animation or comics, hoping to give people comfort with different characters and stories.

Lillie Zimmerman

Borah High School | Rachel McIntosh

The Last Performance by Thomas Hardy
The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe
Requiem by Camille T. Dungy

Lillie Zimmerman is a junior attending Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. She has an affinity for language &performing arts and is also involved in various musical programs. Her hobbies include: creating illustrations, playing the viola, and reciting monologues.

Caitlin Duncan

Classical Christian Academy | Jenna Bailey

To Be of Use by Marge Piercy
Memory as a Hearing Aid by Tony Hoagland
Fate by Carolyn Wells

Caitlin Duncan always saw herself as a math and science geek. Then her English teacher got her hooked on poetry. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, singing, playing piano and guitar, and creative writing. Her superpower is solving Rubik’s cubes in under one minute. She plans to be a nurse educator.

Karter Spoklie

Eagle High School | Tracy Harrison

Turning the Tables by Joel Dias-Porter
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman
Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn

Karter Spoklie is a creative Junior that enjoys sciences of all kinds, stand up comedy, track, and of course the performing arts. In his pastime he likes to talk to friends and go swimming when he can, and in the winter when he can’t ice skating is always a favorite.

Joslyn Philpot

Fruitland High School | Kevin Wickersham

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth
Undivided Attention by Taylor Mali
The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Randall Jarrell

Joslyn Philpot loves to send it! A ski racing champion, she often finds herself flying down groomers or plowing through powder. When not on the hill, she’s studying biological sciences, eager to learn and prepare for the next step in her life—attending university and taking on a premed major!

Elisabeth Edmonds

Lake City High School | Elizabeth Scourey

The Paradox by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Emily Dickinson at the Poetry Slam by Dan Vera
Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith

Elisabeth Edmonds is a Junior at Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She is involved in choir, theatre, and loves to learn about anything and everything. Her dream is to one day live in the desert, read books, and listen to music all day long.

Amelia Black

Lewiston Senior High School | Jamie Baker

Dirge in Woods by George Meredith
Across the Bay by Donald Davie
Life Cycle of Common Man by Howard Nemerov

Amelia Black is a junior at Lewiston High School in Idaho. She is a member of the Varsity Cross Country team, select Jazz Choir, Drama Club, and was a two-time attendee of the Idaho All-State Choir Competition. Amelia enjoys reading classic literature, dabbling in art, and hiking.

Isaac Speirs

McCall-Donnelly High School | Ted McManus

The Pulley by George Herbert
The Poet as Hero by Siegfried Sassoon
Not Horses by Natalie Shapero

Isaac Speirs is a senior who loves biology, cliff jumping, and riding his mountain bike. He's very organized and enjoys planning adventures almost as much as going on them.

Amya Hawkins

Middleton Public Library | Heather Ellis

American Smooth by Rita Dove
An Apology for Her Poetry by Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish
I think I should have loved you presently by dna St. Vincent Millay

Born in Madras, Oregon, Amya Ann Hawkins is an aspiring poet and artist. Her achievements include her volunteer work with the local library, her competitions in slam poetry contests in Boise, Idaho and her fast track to early graduation. She adores her family, friends, her teachers and her community.

Natalia Vasquez

Mountain Home High School | Elena Tullman

The Albatross by Kate Bass
Thoughtless Cruelty by Charles Lamb
Zacuanpapalotls by Brenda Cárdenas

Natalia Vasquez is a senior from Mountain Home High School. She has big dreams to one day become an actress! She loves acting, singing, and basically any form of art.

Emma Austin

New Plymouth High School | Pierette Madrid-Harris

It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman
Domestic Situation by Ernest Hilbert

Emma Austin is a varsity athlete in cross country, basketball and track. She will be the Valedictorian of her class. Emma is a talented pianist whose musical interests also include ukulele and guitar. She is the middle of six siblings. In her spare time she enjoys reading, skiing, backpacking, and playing with her golden retriever puppy.

Austin Robinson

Sugar-Salem High School | Nancy Robinson

Medusa by Louise Bogan
Silence by Thomas Hood
Dawn by Ella Higginson

Austin Robinson, a seventeen year old from Sugar Salem High School, has played a part in the arts programs at his school; he is part of many extracurricular activities that involve using his many talents. He is known by his friends to be a fun and hardworking young man.

Julia Ott

Sun Valley Community School | Jeannie Woller

Figure by Robert Wrigley
Fairy Tale with Laryngitis and Resignation Letter by Jehanne Dubrow
A January Dandelion by George Marion McClellan

Julia Ott is a current senior at Sun Valley Community School. Julia spends most of her days either rehearsing for the next show she is going to be in, reading or getting coffee with her friends. Julia loves poetry, and competing in Poetry Out Loud has been a highlight of her high school experience!

Isabel James

Taylors Crossing Public Charter School | Sherry Newell

I Am Offering This Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca
The End of Science Fiction by Lisel Mueller
The Rain-bow by Thomas Love Peacock

Isabel is a junior at Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter School. She plays volleyball and basketball. Her hobbies outside of school include reading, writing, sketching, and spending time with family. After high school, she hopes to attend the US Air Force Academy.

True Leavitt

Xavier Charter School | Amanda Loosli

Dyed Carnations by Robyn Schiff
Emily Dickinson at the Poetry Slam by Dan Vera
Revenge by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

True Leavitt is a high school senior at Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls, Idaho. True has been competitively reciting poetry since elementary school and recently published an original poem in Live Poets Society of NJ’s Fall 2020 issue. True also enjoys theatre, art, and making people laugh.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with state arts agencies, including the Idaho Commission on the Arts, to support Poetry Out Loud.

National Endowment for the Arts          Poetry Foundation          Arts Idaho