VCA News

The VCA Announces Poetry Out Loud 2023 Finalists

March 1, 2023

The VCA Announces Poetry Out Loud 2023 Finalists

Richmond, VA –– The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) proudly announces its 2022 – 2023 Poetry Out Loud finalists participating in the upcoming state finals competition on Friday, March 10, 2023. Hailing from 12 schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia, talented high school students advance to the next level of this unique program.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education initiative that – through learning materials and a high-energy recitation competition – encourages the study and celebration of great poetry. Now in its eighteenth year, it is presented by the Virginia Commission for the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

This year’s finalists include:

  • Aayra Rajashekara | Virginia Beach | Catholic High School
  • Molly Ridgley | Winchester | Independent School of Winchester
  • Maia Zasler | Richmond | Collegiate High School
  • Daniela Vitello | Purcellville | Woodgrove High School
  • Anna Mohanty | Arlington | Washington Liberty High School
  • Evalynn Bogusz | Leesburg | Heritage High School
  • Mallory Phillips | Richmond | Maggie Walker Governor’s School
  • Cambelle Laskodi | Haymarket | Battlefield High School
  • Natalia Chapel | Norfolk | Norfolk Collegiate
  • Anthony Hernandez | Petersburg | Appomattox Regional Governor’s School
  • Madeleine Munday | Bridgewater | Blue Ridge Christian School
  • Kathryn Price | Richmond | St. Catherine’s School

Virginia’s Poetry Out Loud program elevates the literary arts by engaging more than 5,000 students from more than 40 high schools and organizations across the Commonwealth. The program expands its reach through a statewide broadcast of the finals during National Poetry Month in April. Virginia’s state champion then advances to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals taking place May 8 – 10, 2023 in Washington, D.C. with Virginia’s winner competing against students from the 55 states and jurisdictional territories.

About the Virginia Commission for the Arts

The Virginia Commission for the Arts, established in 1968, is the state agency dedicated to investing in the arts across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VCA fulfills its mission through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, distributing grant awards to Virginia artists; arts organizations; educational institutions; nonprofit organizations; educators; and local and tribal governments. Learn more at

Media Contact
Margaret Hancock, Executive Director

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