On April 29, 2015, Maeva Ordaz, a senior at West Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska won the title of 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Ordaz won the final round with “Zacuanpapalotls,” by Brenda Cárdenas.
The student wins a prize of $20,000 in the national contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country.
Ordaz relates to Cárdenas’ poem personally:
“For me it was a very personal poem…reflective of my heritage. And the idea of rebirth spoke to me. It made me think of how hard my parents have worked and how hard I’ve worked to get here.”