Youssef Biaz 2011 National Poetry Out Loud Recitation Champion

In this program Diana Green, Arts in Education Program Manager interviews the 2011 Poetry Out Loud National Champion, Youssef Biaz from Auburn High School, along with his English teacher and mentor, Davis Thompson and Youssef's father and sister. 

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance.  The program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, provides opportunities for high school students to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. 

Youssef Biaz placed in the top three of the semi-finals, competing against central states and Puerto Rico. At the finals on the second day, competing as one of the top nine finalists, he placed once again in the top three, he delivered his final poem, Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop. This poem took him to first place. For this honor he receives a scholarship award of $20,000, and his school library receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Youssef was accompanied in Washington, by his teacher, Davis Thompson, his parents and sisters, and Donna Russell from the Alabama Alliance for 
Arts in Education. 

This special radio series will air every Sunday at 5:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M., on the Troy University Public Radio Network at:  

  • WTSU 89.9 (Montgomery and Troy)
  • WRWA 88.7 (Dothan)
  • WTJB 91.7 (Columbus and Phenix City) 

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