Canadian students win $25,000 national poetry competition

The 2018 Poetry In Voice competition is designed to foster a love for the literary form in young people.
Some of the 2018 Poetry In Voice student winners (from left): Gabrielle Nebrida-Pépin, Hamish Marissen-Clark and Pujita Verma. (Poetry In Voice)

Nine students from across the country have collectively won $25,000 as finalists of the 2018 Poetry In Voice competition in Toronto on April 19, 2018.

The successful secondary school and Cégep students were selected during the National Finals Awards event, hosted by CBC's Gill Deacon.

Established by Scott Griffin, chairman and founder of the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, the Poetry In Voice competition is now in its eighth year. It challenges students to learn two to three poems by heart and perform them in front of an audience. The top-scoring students advance to the online semifinals, and finalists are flown to Toronto to compete in the English, bilingual or French qualifying events. Over 1,300 schools participated in 2018.

The students' performances were judged by an panel of poets that included Liz Howard, Canisia Lubrin and Matt Rader.

The nine student winners are:

English Prize Stream

  • Hamish Marissen-Clark of St. George's School in Vancouver won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the school's library for the best combined score of three recitations in English.
  • Gabrielle Nebrida-Pépin won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of École des Pionniers-de-Maillardville in Port Coquitlam, B.C., for the purchase of poetry books.
  • Pujita Verma won the third prize of $500 and $250 for the library of Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont., for the purchase of poetry books.

Bilingual Prize Stream

  • Brittany Huellas-Bruskiewicz won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the library of École des Pionniers-de-Maillardville in Port Coquitlam, B.C., for the best combined score of one poem in English and one poem in French.
  • Olivia Torralbo won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of The Sacred Heart School of Montreal in Montréal for the purchase of poetry books.
  • John Wood won the third prize of $500, and $250 for the library of Toronto French School in Toronto for the purchase of poetry books.

French Prize Stream

  • Charlie Rivard won the first prize of $5,000, and $1,000 for the library of Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montréal for the best combined score of three recitations in French.
  • Jeanne Cantin won the second prize of $1,000, and $500 for the library of Collège François-de-Laval in Quebec City for the purchase of poetry books.
  • Alice Blouin-Décoste won the third prize of $500, and $250 for the library of Collège Sainte-Anne de Lachine in Lachine, Que., for the purchase of poetry books.

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