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State Poetry Out Loud Contest Highlights Students, Features Special Guest Artist Mato Wayuhi


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota high school students will share their talents and the work of great poets while competing for the state title at the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition.


The event begins at 1 pm CST, Monday, March 20, at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls. Eight students will compete for the title of state champion through the recitation program. Two students have already won the original poetry competition, and they will present their poems at the event. The contest is free to attend and open to the public. A live-stream will be available at The student who places first at the state competition will receive a paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, May 8-10.


South Dakota Poetry Out Loud is excited to welcome Mato Wayuhi to the competition to serve as a judge and special guest artist. Mato Wayuhi is a multidisciplinary artist originally from South Dakota. He works in film and television, both as a producer and musical composer. Most notably, Mato is the composer for the award-winning FX/Hulu series Reservation Dogs and the feature-length film War Pony.


Poetry Out Loud, a national arts education program, starts in the classroom and encourages the study of poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. South Dakota’s program is administered by the South Dakota Arts Council with help from Arts South Dakota and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Visit for updates and details.


Poetry Out Loud was created in partnership by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation with the collaboration of state arts agencies. It is intended to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.


The South Dakota Arts Council, an office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, is a state agency serving South Dakotans and their communities through the arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of South Dakota. The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of the Office of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.



*Media note, local interest


Students competing for the title of South Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Champion include:


  • Madeline McCullough, Brookings High School
  • Grace Powell, Dakota Valley High School, North Sioux City
  • Emma Carlson, Lincoln High School, Sioux Falls
  • Nikolas Yellowboy, Little Wound High School, Kyle
  • Rachel Ziegeldorf, Mitchell High School
  • Martina Ramos, Rosholt High School
  • Eden Ordyna, Vermillion High School
  • Jack Hinrichs, Washington High School, Sioux Falls




Students presenting award-winning original poetry include:

  • Martina Ramos, Rosholt High School, for her works “Weightless” and “A Lament for Empty Husks” 
  • Anthony Looks Twice, Little Wound High School, Kyle, for his work “Triple Triptych of Chondrichthyes”.