2012 Ontario-Quebec Finals Winners

Toronto, ON – Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is proud to announce the winners of its second annual poetry recitation competition at Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre last night. A judging panel awarded Alexander Gagliano from Upper Canada College the top prize at the prestigious Poetry In Voice Grand Finals, hosted by Albert Schultz, founding artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Gagliano takes home a grand prize of $5,000, and an additional $2,500 for his school library. Sydney Gilchrist from London Central Secondary School placed second, winning $1,000 and $500 for her school to purchase poetry books, while third place finalist Jeff Hunt from St. Johns-Kilmarnock School won $500 and an additional $500 for his school.

Many of Toronto’s writers were present including Dennis Lee, Dionne Brand, and Karen Solie. Also in attendance were The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Greg Keelor from Blue Rodeo and Pierre Nepveu, one of Quebec’s greatest living poets. Nepveu is a three-time winner of Governor General’s Literary Awards, and editor of the Poetry in Voice anthology in French. April marks the celebration of National Poetry Month in North America, and each expressed how important it is to introduce students to the beauty of language through poetry.

I am pleased to see such enthusiasm for poetry, and such talent for the recitation of poetry by the competing students last night. They totally get it! said Scott Griffin, founder of Poetry In Voice, and The Griffin Trust For Excellence in Poetry.

Poetry In Voice aims to promote poetry in the classroom and the community. This year’s contest included hundreds of participants from 40 secondary schools and CEGEPs in Ontario and Quebec. Participants were challenged to memorize and recite poems in English or French from a set anthology of classical and modern English and French poems. Last night’s event was the final contest, with all finalists previously winning competitions in their classroom, school and province.

Poetry In Voice 2013:

Poetry In Voice will extend across Canada for the 2012/2013 school year and is now actively recruiting new schools. Online school registrations are open here.

Entering the Poetry in Voice competition is free, and teachers are offered a variety of classroom resources to support their participation. Competitors benefit from an introduction to the rich literary tradition of recitation and learn important public-speaking and presentation skills.

About Poetry In Voice:

Poetry In Voice is a bilingual poetry recitation competition for secondary school and CEGEP students, run by Creative Director Damian Rogers and Francophone Director Sepideh Anvar. Founded by Scott Griffin, the competition aims to promote the art of poetry in the classroom and in the community. More than $10,000 in awards and school stipends were awarded in 2012.

About The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry:

The Trust was founded in April 2000 by chairman Scott Griffin, along with trustees Margaret Atwood, Carolyn Forché, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, and David Young. By funding the Griffin Poetry Prize – the worlds largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in, or translated into, English – The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry aims to spark the public’s imagination and raise awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in our cultural life, a mission shared by Poetry In Voice.


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