Some of the best musicians of all time dabbled in poetry, but how many of them won a national competition and $20,000? None that I know of. But a Northfield Senior at Arcadia Charter School, Isabella Callery did just that. It was her first time making it to the national competition in the 4 years she entered. Her first three times in the contest she got to the state level. 

Callery won the 2019 Poetry Out Loud competition and it's $20,000 prize by reciting "poems by Joy Harjo, Natalie Diaz, and Charles Lamb," according to a media release from You can watch her recite the Lamb poem in the video above.

What's really impressive about the win is that Callery did it after "more than 275,000 student-competitors nationwide participated in the program this year." Callery told that she plans on "heading to Wisconsin" in the fall to attend college. With a goal to "eventually work as a juvenile rehabilitation therapist." Finishing in 2nd place was a junior from Illinois, and 3rd place went to a junior from Georgia.


The competition was held from April 30-May 1, 2019 at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. With the top-9 making it to the finals on May 1st.

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