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Columbus North High School student wins national poetry competition in Washington D.C.

poetry out loud
Posted at 5:51 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 17:53:20-04

WASHINGTON D.C. — A student from Columbus North High School represented Indiana in the national Poetry Out Loud Championship held in Washington D.C. and took home the first-place prize of $20,000.

Sreepadaarchana Munjuluri, a junior at Columbus North High School, was named the 2023 Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Munjuluri, the Indiana State Champion, represented the Hoosier State at the National Finals in Washington D.C.

She competed against 54 state and jurisdictional champions over May 9 and May 10. She recited poems by Emily Jungmin Yoon, Emma Lazarus and Garrett Hongo.

This was Munjuluri’s second year participating in Poetry Out Loud. She says communication through various mediums, such as poetry, is the key to solving the world’s problems.

The Indiana Arts Commission serves as the coordinator for Indiana’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

The Indiana State Finals were held at the Indiana Government Center on March 4. Munjuluri was named the state champion over 14 finalists. Over 1,000 students participated statewide.

As the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, Munjuluri was awarded $20,000. Indiana Humanities will receive $500 to purchase poetry materials.

“The Indiana Arts Commission is immensely proud of Sreepadaarchana and the hard work and dedication that has led to this moment for her,” Stephanie Haines, Poetry Out Loud coordinator with the Indiana Arts Commission, said. “Indiana has a rich history of poetry at all ages, and Sreepadaarchana’s success demonstrates the power of creativity in classrooms. Indiana could not ask for a better student to represent our state.”

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a recitation competition for high schoolers across the U.S.