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24 Canadian high school students named semifinalists for $25K poetry reciting competition

The 2020 semifinalists were chosen among more than 20,000 Grade 9-12 students. Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie was created to nurture an appreciation of poetry among Canadian high school students.
Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie has announced the 24 semifinalists in its high school recitation contest. (poetryinvoice.com)

Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie has announced the 24 semifinalists in its high school recitation contest.

The annual competition, now in its 10th year, was created by Scott Griffin, the chairman and founder of the Griffin Trust for Excellent In Poetry, to nurture an appreciation of poetry among Canadian high school students.

The participants choose from classic and contemporary poems in French or English, memorize and recite them in the national finals.

The 2020 semifinalists were chosen among more than 20,000 Grade 9-12 students from 1,400 schools across Canada.

The top three students in each of the three contest streams will collectively win $25,000 for themselves and their school libraries. 

The recitations in the English stream will be judged by Canadian poets Gwen Benaway, Moe Clark and Greg Santos, while the French recitations will be judged by Joséphine Bacon, Anne-Marie Desmeules and Pierre Nepveu.

Given the ongoing concerns associated with COVID-19, the national finals will be held online this year.

The winners will be announced on April 17, 2020.

The full list of the 24 semifinalists in the contest's three language streams:

English Stream      

  • Safae Bizgame, Westminster Secondary School, London, Ont.
  • Joyce Chen, Little Flower Academy, Vancouver
  • Bianca Galvin, York House School, Vancouver
  • Kumar Hind, École internationale de Montréal, Montréal
  • Divyan Karunakaran, Eric Hamber Secondary School, Vancouver
  • Gia Krikellas, St. Joseph's Catholic High School, Windsor, Ont.
  • Rena Liu, Ottewell School, Edmonton
  • Rebecca Marchetti, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Etobicoke, Ont. 
  • Anisa Pirani, Westmount Charter School, Calgary
  • Nawal Semir, Glenlawn Collegiate, Winnipeg
  • Anna Shi, Toronto French School, Toronto    
  • Madlyn Woodruff, Harbour View High School, Saint John

Bilingual Stream

  • Stephanie Aboukhater, Thornlea Secondary School, Thornhill, Ont. 
  • Farah Elnakoury, École secondaire Étienne-Brûlé, Toronto, Ont.
  • Lysiane Kouakou, Sir Winston Churchill High School, Calgary
  • Rachel Lyonnais-St-Martin, Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert, St-Lambert, Que. 
  • Nahida Mohamadou Kingui, Lycée Louis Pasteur School, Calgary
  • Jenny Wang, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montréal

French Stream

  • Delicia Akimana, St. Joseph's Catholic High School, Windsor, Ont.
  • Minh Duc Hoang, École internationale de Montréal, Montréal
  • Léane Plouffe, Collège Lionel-Groulx, Sainte-Thérèse, Que.
  • Romy Magdalena Pueyo, Collège Beaubois, Pierrefonds, Que. 
  • Evan Sapozhnikov, Lycée Louis Pasteur School, Calgary
  • Audrey Tardif, École des Chutes, Rawdon, Que.

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