Arizona Poetry Out Loud 2017: Finalists and interviews

Brophy College Preparatory

Paul Cassidy
Paul is sixteen and is a sophomore at Brophy College Preparatory. He is very excited to be representing his school in this round of competition amongst the other talented poets in the state. Apart from reciting poetry, Paul is a second-degree black belt in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do and is an avid urban sketcher and guitarist. He is very grateful to Mr. Austin Pidgeon, Mr. Tomás Stanton and all others who made Poetry Out Loud possible.

Tri-City College Prep High School

Thea Cline
Thea is a junior at Tri-City Prep High School. She joined Poetry Out Loud because she enjoys public speaking and presenting, and this was a great opportunity to creatively do that. She also enjoys music, art, writing and photography. She hopes to someday become an influential artist or speaker. Thea is grateful to be at this competition and thanks her parents, friends and teachers who made sure she never gave up.

Sedona Red Rock High School

Chaiah Durst
Chaiah is a sophomore at Sedona Red Rock High School and this is her first time at Poetry Out Loud State. She has begun to delve into her passion for writing this past year, and she is very grateful she has the opportunity to share such beautiful art. Poetry is something that continues to make Chaiah’s life more meaningful.

Desert View High School

India Harris
India Harris is a seventeen-year-old senior at Desert View High School who is a member of the University of Arizona Wildcat Choir and a former member of the University of Arizona 2016 Honors Summer Academy. She aspires to pursue multiple careers in fine arts.

Willow Canyon High School

Tillie Jones
Tillie Jones is a senior and AP student at Willow Canyon High School, where she’s involved in National Honors Society and Rachel’s Challenge Club. She is also president of the Pride Alliance club on campus. Tillie developed a passion for literature early in her youth, which has stayed with her long into high school. She is excited to use this passion to present the stories of her poets.

Combs High School

Cynthia Oldham
Cynthia Oldham is a senior at Combs High School, where she is the first to ever make it to the Poetry Out Loud State competition. A lover of literature and the arts, she seeks to become an English teacher after college. She enjoys long walks on the beach, a good book to curl up with and her Hamlet tights.

American Leadership Academy – Ironwood Campus

Amanda Rambert
Amanda is a giver who tends to others before herself, and assists with passion and heart. Amanda only strives for greatness and takes nothing less, and though she makes many mistakes, she would never trade her past experiences for a forgotten tomorrow.

Arizona School for the Arts

Kellen Vu
Kellen Vu is a sophomore at Arizona School for the Arts who enjoys playing the piano and computer programming. Writer by day and reader by night, Kellen has long appreciated poetry – his favorite poet is Emily Dickinson. His dream job is to be a physician, and he’s currently interning in a research laboratory at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Coconino High School

Sophie Weinzinger
Sophie Weinzinger is so excited to be able to come back for her second year at state. A sophomore from Coconino High School, Sophie enjoys painting, singing and binge watching “The Office” on weekends.

Sonoran Science Academy

Olivia Wrenn
Olivia Wrenn is a 17-year-old junior attending Sonoran Science Academy. This is her second year participating in Poetry Out Loud and her first year making it to regionals. Olivia is a dedicated student who wishes to take a gap year before furthering her education at a university to study anthropology.

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