The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) congratulates the winners of Santa Barbara County Poetry Slam 2022 who wowed judges with their compelling, original poetry. The winners are:

1st place: Makai Copado, 11th grade, Pioneer Valley High School
“What We’ve Done Is What We know”
“I’ll Love You Forever”

2nd place: Madeline Miller, 12th grade, San Marcos High School
“The One About Sea Anemonies”
“Song for My Sister”

3rd place: Steven Villanueva, 12th grade, Righetti High School
“Peaceful, Screaming, Golden Gleam”
“Hammer of Justice™”

Participants were considered on the content of their poems, as well as on performance elements like enthusiasm, delivery, and audience participation.

The Poetry Slam event took place via Zoom on March 31 as a kickoff to National Poetry Month in April, It is a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office Educational Technology Services Department.

This year, SBCEO tapped the team at the Get Lit – Words Ignite organization, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit founded in 2006 to increase literacy, empower youth, and energize and heal communities through poetry and visual media.

“Spoken word poetry provides students a stage to be unapologetic truth-tellers and to use the power of language and authentic performance to transcend human struggle and create beauty. It is art for collective healing,” said Ellen Barger, assistant superintendent of SBCEO curriculum and instruction.

The students will be performing their winning poem at the Juvenile Youth Empowerment Summit, hosted by SBCEO in October.