Local victories are always something to celebrate, especially when the champions are young people pursuing art and representing the best of their peers here in the Inland Northwest. Last week was the Eastern Washington regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition, held in the Spokane Downtown Library and hosted by Spokane Arts. Eastern Washington high school students from seven schools performed poetry they’ve been working all fall and winter to understand, memorize and master.
Jordan Mattox, of Mead High School, and Madeline Luther, of Okanogan High School, both took home wins at the Regional Finals and will be advancing to the state competition in March. The winner at state will win $200 cash, $500 for their school and a trip to Washington D.C. to compete at the national finals.
This isn’t Luther’s first rodeo. She entered the 2020 Poetry Out Loud competition fresh off last year's win at both the regional and state finals, making Luther one to watch at the competition in Tacoma this March.
Luther also isn’t the first from Eastern Washington to find success in this national arts education program. In 2013 Langston Ward of Mead High School won not only the regional competition, but the state final as well, and then went on to take first in D.C., becoming the national Poetry Out Loud champion.