Announcing the Winners of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie’s 2023 National Finals

NFCalgary, April 21, 2022 - Nine students from across Canada have won $18,000 as finalists of the 2023 Poetry In Voice competition. The first, second and third place winners in the English, French and Bilingual Streams were announced at last night's National Finals, which took place at the Calgary Central Public Library. 

A jury composed of poets Richard Harrison, Micheline Maylor and Titilope Sonuga evaluated the English recitations; Clémence Dumas-Côté, Evelyne Gagnon and Rodney Saint-Éloi evaluated the French recitations. Poet and spoken word artist Liana Cusmano hosted the evening.

The audience included Calgary Poet Laureate Wakefield Brewster, Bertrand Bickersteth, Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal and Rita Wong, as well as founders Scott and Krystyne Griffin. The finalists recited poems by an array of classic and contemporary poets, including Dane Swan, Charlie Petch, Aja Monet, Jacques Prévert, Patrice Desbiens, and Victor Hugo.

Over 20,000 students from all over Canada learned a poem by heart this year. The 24 top-scoring students in the Online Qualifiers advanced to the Online Semifinals, then the 9 finalists were flown to Calgary for a week of poetry-related workshops and activities in the lead up to National Finals. 

Grace of the MacCall McBain Foundation, the 2023 National Finals took place alongside FutureVerse, a four-day poetry intensive for 16 students selected from across Canada. Over the course of the week, the FutureVersers and National Finalists participated in panels, workshops and activities with writers, editors and activists, including the Writing Change into the World: Equality, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Poetry Workshop, the Indigenous Afternoon of Learning and Creation, and the Eco Poetics Writing and Walk to Prince’s Island. 

The winners of the 2023 National Finals are:


English Stream

For the best combined score of three recitations in English


english stream

  • Maia Cassie from Queen Margaret's School, Duncan, British-Columbia wins the first prize of $3,000 (right)
  • Maria Espindola from Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary, Alberta wins the second prize of $2,000 (centre)
  • Olivia Bridgman from Lycée Français de Toronto, Toronto, Ontario wins the third prize of $1,000 (left)


Bilingual Stream

For the best combined score of one poem in English and one poem in French


Bilingual Stream

  • Aaronsaul Negre, from All Saints High School, Calgary, Alberta wins the first prize of $3,000 (right)
  • Philippe Morissette from Lycée Français de Toronto, Toronto, Ontario wins the second prize of $2000 (centre)
  • Maïté Turgeon from Collège Saint-Anne secondaire Dorval, Dorval, Québec wins the third prize of $1,000 (left)


French Section

For the best combined score of three recitations in French


French Stream

  • Hope Anaky from l'École Alexandre-Taché, St. Albert, Alberta wins the first prize of $3,000 (right)
  • Chloé Simard from Champlain Regional College - Saint-Lambert, Saint-Lambert, Québec wins the second prize of $2,000 (centre)
  • Arsène Guillemot from Collège Français secondaire Longueuil, Longueuil, Québec wins the third prize of $1000 (left)

The public can still watch the 2023 National Finals on

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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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