Announcing the nine National Finalists and 16 FutureVerse Participants

For immediate release — 12 pm EDT, March 23, 2023

MONTREAL, QC – Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is proud to announce the nine finalists of its annual senior poetry recitation contest and the sixteen students selected for FutureVerse.

Over 20,000 students across Canada learned a poem by heart this year. School champions participated in online qualifiers and the 24 students who obtained the highest scores advanced to the semifinals, where their videos were judged by a panel of poets. The semifinalists all received $250 each in prize money. During the National Finals, a total of nearly $25,000 will be awarded to the winners.

Here are the 2023 National Finalists:


English Category

  • Olivia Bridgman from Lycée Français de Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • Maia Cassie from Queen Margaret's School, Duncan, BC 
  • Maria Espindola from Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary, AB

Bilingual Category

  • Philippe Morissette from Lycée Français de Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • Aaronsaul Negre, from All Saints High School, Calgary, AB
  • Maité Turgeon from Collège Saint-Anne Secondaire, Dorval QC

French Category

  • Hope Anaky from École Alexandre-Tâche, St. Albert, AB
  • Arsène Guillemot from Collège Français Secondaire Longueuil, Longueuil, QC
  • Chloé Simard from Champlain Regional College - Saint-Lambert, Saint-Lambert, QC

The nine finalists will participate in our National Finals, held live for the first time in three years, at the Calgary Central Public Library on April 20th. The event will also be streamed on multiple platforms, including the Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie website.

The judges

A panel of six judges will evaluate the recitations at National Finals in Calgary. The poets who will judge the recitations in English are:

And the poets who will judge the recitations in French are:


People's Choice Award

This year, over 6500 people watched the 24 semifinalists’ recitations on the Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie website and voted for their favourite in the People’s Choice Award. Congratulations to Zeinab Kesserwann of Edmonton Islamic Academy, in Edmonton, AB, who won the People's Choice Award for a recitation in English, and to Maité Turgeon from Collège Saint-Anne Secondaire, in Dorval, QC who won the prix du Choix du public for a recitation in French. Each of these reciters has won an additional $500. Watch their winning recitations, and all of our semifinalists' performances, here:



This year, FutureVerse will be held alongside National Finals in Calgary. An all-expenses-paid poetry intensive, FutureVerse brings together young writers from all over the country for four days of workshops, panels, readings and activities with well known authors, publishers, and activists. Visit our website for a look at the FutureVerse participants' poetry-packed schedule. To apply, students submitted an original poem to VOICES/VOIX, our student poetry journal, or to the Poetry Prompt Prize, our monthly poetry contest. 

Here are the 2023 FutureVerse participants:

  • Gray Mike from Inuksuk School, Iqaluit, NU
  • Batool Ali from Harry Ainlay School, Edmonton, AB
  • Obiajulu Udemgba from Walter Murray Collegiate, Saskatoon, SK
  • Tyler-Rose Elizabeth Arden from Eastglen School, Edmonton, AB
  • Ella Bachrach from Smithers Secondary School, Smithers, BC
  • Manouan Arabel Boissonnault Émond from École secondaire publique De La Salle, Ottawa, ON
  • Mikella Boulanger from Cégep de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC
  • Sophie Cameron-King from École secondaire publique De La Salle, Ottawa, ON
  • Jamie He from University Transition Program, Vancouver, BC
  • Sophie Lafrenière from Cégep de Lévis-lauzon, Lévis, QC
  • Aqil Melchoir from Westminster Secondary School, London, ON
  • Moineau Shin Binon from University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON
  • Justine Rory Ramos from Maples Collegiate, Winnipeg, MB
  • Vivian Sun from A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, North York, ON
  • Angelina Yeung from Crofton House School, Vancouver, BC
  • Lang Yue from Collège Jean-Eudes, Montréal, QC


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About Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie:

Founded by Scott Griffin, chairman and founder of the illustrious Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie encourages all Canadians to speak the language of poetry. They are the essential resource for teaching and learning poetry in Canada — and beyond. The organization started by hosting a recitation contest with 12 schools in Ontario in 2010, and has since become “a cultural force in Canada,” according to Margaret Atwood. 

Every year, the organization hosts two national recitation contests (one for students in Grades 9–12, and another for students in Grades 6–8) and a dozen local team recitation contests every year. These contests rely on robust online anthologies of classic and contemporary poems in English and French. The organization also publishes an annual bilingual journal of student poetry, VOICES/VOIX, with issue #5 to be released next September. 

Their websites also include comprehensive teaching materials, and to date Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie has sent poets into over 1300 classrooms to work with over 40,000 students through their Poet In Class/Poètes à l’école program. 


For all media enquiries, including interviews with the finalists, the FutureVerse participants or with Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, contact Communications Director, Liana Cusmano, e:, c: 514.668.0768 Rorie Bruce, e:, c: 204-781-1769


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