Fort Wayne, Rushville Students Named Poetry Ourselves State Champions

INDIANA – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Arnav Gupta and Elizabeth Haskett are the 2022 Indiana Poetry Ourselves State Champions. Arnav Gupta, a sophomore at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, is the Poetry Ourselves Written Category State Champion. Elizabeth Haskett, a freshman at Rushville Consolidated High School in Rushville, is the Poetry Ourselves Spoken-Word Category State Champion.  

Poetry Ourselves Indiana is a statewide original poetry competition for high school students. Students have the option to submit a written poem or a spoken-word poem. This year, 170 students around the state submitted their original poetry to the competition. Poems were judged by a panel of qualified professional poets, writers, and field experts on the criteria of creativity, structure, and engagement.  

“Poetry Ourselves is a clear demonstration that young Hoosiers have important things to say,” said Stephanie Haines, IAC Arts Education, and Accessibility Manager. “Each year we continue to be impressed by the creativity and talent in Indiana’s classrooms. The impact that writing poetry has on learning, self-expression, and self-confidence is evident in this competition.” 

The top three competitors in each category will receive a cash prize, an artist-designed award, a book of poetry, and the opportunity to enter their poem in the INverse Indiana Poetry Archive. 

In the written category, Arnav Gupta was named State Champion for his poem “Coldest Day In January; My Assignment Is To Write A Poem.” Stella Grable of Homestead High School was named the second-place winner. Perrena Stockard of the Indiana Digital Learning School was named the third-place winner.  

In the spoken-word category, Elizabeth Haskett was named State Champion for her original poem and performance titled “Forever.” Gus Hagedorn of Forest Park Jr.-Sr. High School was named the second-place winner. Riley Bauges of Inspire Academy Muncie was named the third-place winner. 

Poetry Ourselves is held each year in conjunction with Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition, and receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.