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2013 Poetry Out Loud Southern Regional Finals Recap

The 2013 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals were last night Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 from 7-9 p.m. in Phoenix. Cassandra brought the house down last night with her rendition of “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins as she competed with nine other students throughout the state of Arizona for the championship title. Jessica Gonzales from Nogales High School and Mark Anthony Niadas from St. Augustine Catholic High School gave strong, thoughtful performances and were real contenders throughout the competition. Congratulations Cassandra! Congratulations Jessica and Mark! We are so proud of you and all the Southern Arizona performers who participated this year from the semi-finalists to the many school participants. This marks the fifth year in a row that a student from Southern Arizona has won the state title. Cassandra is now headed to Washington D.C. to compete in the national competition April 28th to 30th.

In honor of their achievements, and to recap the 2013 Poetry Out Loud Southern Regional Semi-finals, here are some of our favorite moments from the Southern Arizona Semi-Final competition, which took place on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. (Photo Credit: Jeff Smith)

2013 Poetry Out Loud winners (from Left to Right):

First place: Mark Niadas, St. Augustine Catholic High School

Second place: Jessica Gonzalez, Nogales High School

Third place: Cassandra Valadez, Sunnyside High School


Our fun and fearless Emcee, Matthew J. Conley


Hannah Baez, Sonoran Science Academy


Luis Bustamante, Nogales High School


Anahi Lopez, Villa Oasis High School


Tyler Roberts, St. Augustine Catholic High School


Our amazing guest poet, Logan Phillips


Our rollicking audience!


Here's Logan again! He was also a rocking D.J.!


All of the 2013 Southern Regional Semi-Final participants

Created on: 
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Arizona Board of Regents