2023-2024 Poetry Out Loud Idaho Semifinal & Final

Poetry Out Loud Idaho State Semifinal

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

During the 2023-2024 season, 1,782 students and 86 teachers and librarians at 23 Idaho schools and libraries participated in Poetry Out Loud.

16 Idaho teens who won the Poetry Out Loud contest in their school or library competed in the Idaho State Semifinal, and the top 12 students advanced to the Idaho State Final.


Ryan Marsh, Semifinal Judge

Ryan Marsh is an essayist, painter, and arts director living in Boise, ID. In 2022, he founded Backyard Artists, a non profit aimed to promote emerging artists work. He loves to hike in the foothills, smack a golf ball around, and finds himself in love with pasta and sushi more and more each day. His essay 'Unheard, Unseen' can be found in Allegory Ridges nonfiction anthology 'Allegheny.' He loves living in Boise and would not want to be anywhere else for such an artistic boom.

Leta Harris Neustaedter, Semifinal Judge

Leta Harris Neustaedter is an arts educator, musician, actor, community builder and clinical social worker. She has been a Teaching Artist for the YMCA and TRICA and now owns Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio where she weaves self discovery and life skills into music and acting classes. She was a 2023 Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year Honoree for her work in the community. She is a published writer and is currently working on a nonfiction essay collection. She created a project called The Lovely Afro to collect the stories and experiences of Black and Brown people in Idaho. Those podcasts can be found on her website or

Sarah Pincock, Semifinal Judge

Sarah Pincock (they/them) is a queer mixed-media artist and illustrator working in Nampa, Idaho. Their work focuses on writing sequential poetry and creating visual icons that create narratives alongside fabulist renderings of mythic iconography, archetypes and storytelling; blurring the line drawn between society and the folktale.

Hannah Rodabaugh, Semifinal Judge

Hannah Rodabaugh holds an MA from Miami University and an MFA from Naropa University. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, including We Don't Bury Our Dead When Our Dead Are Animals, a Pushcart-nominated collection of ecological elegies. Her work is featured in The Indianapolis Review, Camas Magazine, Glassworks Magazine, Blueline Magazine, Berkeley Poetry Review, Evening Street Review, and K’in Literary Journal. She is a 2024 Literature Fellow for the Idaho Commission on the Arts and has twice been an artist-in-residence for the National Park Service. She lives in Boise, Idaho where she teaches English at Boise State University and creative writing at The Cabin, Idaho’s only literary center.

Trey Hayden, Semifinal Accuracy Judge

Trey Hayden is a second-year poetry student in Boise State University’s MFA program. Born and raised in Kentucky, he graduated from Rhodes College (Memphis) in 2021 with a BA in economics. His favorite authors include Louise Glück, Peter Streckfus, Ross Gay, and Diane Seuss.

Megan Slusarewicz, Semifinal Accuracy Judge

Megan Slusarewicz is currently a first-year poetry MFA candidate at Boise State University. Megan is fond of verbs, but also finds nouns and adjectives essential for writing sentences. Prior to Boise, she received BAs in literary arts and cognitive neuroscience and won Brown University’s 2023 Academy of American Poets Prize.


Penelope Araya

Sage International School of Boise | Eric Oliver

Invisible Children by Mariana Llanos
Nurture by Maxine Kumin

Penelope Araya enjoys engaging in both soccer and rock climbing. Beyond these pursuits, she devotes her time to contributing to the Wassmuth Youth Leadership and Human Rights Program, actively supporting the Boise community.

McKenzie Armstrong

Xavier Charter School | Amanda Loosli

Seven Stones by Marjorie Agosín
The Legend by Garrett Hongo

McKenzie Armstrong is an artistic senior with aspirations of becoming an artist in trade. She loves to spend time with her friends and finds some of her most enjoyable moments with them. Some of her favorite activities include crafts, sketching, playing in her school’s band, and playing D&D.

Bethany Bartholomew

Fruitland High School | Kevin Wickersham

son/daughter by Kai Combradi
I love you to the moon & by Chen Chen

Bethany Bartholomew is a student at Fruitland High School in Fruitland Idaho. She enjoys Greek mythology, art, and writing. She is inspired by her favorite musicians such as (Sandy) Alex G., Madilyn Mei, and Hozier. She dreams of being a reporter, focusing on the arts in her writing.

Evelyn Claridge

Classical Christian Academy | Jenna Bailey

Siren Song by Margaret Atwood
She Walks in Beauty by Lord Bryon (George Gordon)

Evelyn Claridge is a senior at Classical Christian Academy where she enjoys history and literature especially. Evelyn is the second oldest of five siblings and she loves exercising creativity by writing books and doing photography.

Emma Eldred

New Plymouth High School | Pierrette Madrid

the world is about to end and my grandparents are in love by Kara Jackson
Listening in Deep Space by Diane Thiel

Junior Emma is repeat reciter for Poetry Out Loud. She loves poetry, reading, and drama (not just the usual high school type). This winter she plays the heroine in the production of The Vile Veterinarian with the Illustrious Onion Skins. She also is on the mighty Pilgrim student leadership team and her Class President. She updates the school Social Media page for sports. Her musical talents go far and wide, playing at least five instruments, which led her to the Blue Thunder Honor Band last fall.

Audrey Fourroux

North Idaho STEM Charter Academy | Betsy Sims

Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth

Audrey Fourroux is a senior who has always enjoyed reading poetry, especially comical and philosophical poems. She also enjoys skiing, sudoku, playing violin, and participating in Civil Air Patrol.

India Galloway

Soda Springs High School | Tricia Brown

Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn
Oranges by Roisin Kelly

India Galloway loves physics, the color orange, and is a bit obsessed with reading.

Zion Hannon

American Heritage Charter School | Phyllis Aycock

Battle-Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe
Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

Zion Hannon is a junior with aspirations of becoming a business owner and world class baker. She loves fitness, poetry writing and recitation, and has a big heart. Each week Zion can be found handing out her latest baked treats from her original recipes to students in the halls of our school.

Cassius Klingenfuss

Sun Valley Community School | Mackenzie Price

Crossing by Jericho Brown
As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Cassius Klingfuss is a senior at Sun Valley Community School. Whether it is writing his own poetry, performing in plays, or soliloquizing on the importance of life, Cassius is a student of the arts. Cassius’s passion for poetry and performance has manifested into his second time at the state competition.

Kailee Kropf

Lake City High School | Todd Jasmin

Don't Bother the Earth Spirit by Joy Harjo
Helen by H. D.

Kailee (Kai) Kropf is a sophmore with an ambition to become an author. She enjoys committing her after school life to her school's theater department and reading in her free time.

Fawn Perkins

Capital High School | Bret Bishop

To Have Without Holding by Marge Piercy
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens

Fawn Perkins is a junior who describes themselves as “strange, macabre, and vaguely German.” They are a sucker for romance and tragedy, and they are working towards attending an art college in the near future.

Liam Peterson

Mountain Home High | Taunya Page

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340) by Emily Dickinson
Meeting at an Airport by Taha Muhammed Ali

Liam Peterson is a junior with a love of acting! He enjoys camping, listening to Hozier, and playing the guitar.

Ava Rinker

McCall-Donnelly High School | Annie Narver

April Love by Ernest Dowson
After the Winter by Claude McKay

Ava Rinker is a senior in high school with an aspiring dream to become an actor. She likes playing video games, hanging out with friends, sleeping, and making people happy.

Harmony Trude

Borah High School | Joseph Brian

Four Glimpses of Night by Frank Marshall Davis
Rocket by Todd Boss

Harmony Trude is a sophomore, currently part of NHS, and someone who loves running. Her favorite things include playing guitar, cleaning, and exploring. Harmony aspires to leave a positive impact on anyone she can. A mantra she holds dear is “There’s something beautiful coming, even if it’s only the sun.”

Jack Windsor

Eagle High School | Tracy Harrison

The Light of Stars by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Ragged and the Beautiful by Safiya Sinclair

Jack Windsor is a senior who has a love for the outdoors whether that's hiking or going for bike rides. He loves journaling, coffee, socializing with friends, and venturing to new places.

Ainsley Zufelt

Tech Trep Academy | Rebecca Harkness

Blind Curse by Simon J. Ortiz
I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman

Ainsley is a musician who loves singing and playing the piano and violin. She also enjoys acting, playing soccer, and swing dancing with her fellow homeschool friends.


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