Punahou School senior Nicholas Amador, Hawaii’s Poetry Out Loud state champion for 2018, placed second in the national finals in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday.
It was Amador’s third year as Hawaii State Champion, and third time placing in the top three nationally. He also placed second last year, and third in 2016.
For this year’s competition, Amador recited “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, “Two Guitars” by Victor Hernandez Cruz and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.
Amador, 12th grader at Punahou, is fan of musical theater and wants to direct and write plays in the future.
The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts congratulated Amador and Punahou School’s Poetry Out Loud coordinator Lara Cowell for the prestigious achievement, and thanked the Honolulu Theatre for Youth for their partnership, which supports Hawaii’s participation.
Hawaii students have placed in the top three nationally four times. Former Mid-Pacific Institute student Kellie Anae took third place in 2006. The competition helped her earn a scholarship to Louisiana State University.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partnered with U.S. state arts agencies, including the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to support Poetry Out Loud, a free high school program launched nationwide in 2006 that encourages youth to lean about great poetry through memorization and recitation.