AP NEWS

Another asylum-seeker makes national poetry contest finals

May 2, 2019

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — For the second consecutive year, an asylum-seeker from Maine has made it to the final round of a national spoken poetry competition.

The road to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals Wednesday night was less bumpy for 18-year-old Joao Victor than it was last year for Deering High School junior Allan Monga, who had to sue to participate in the event hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Sun Journal newspaper reports that Victor came to the U.S. three years ago from Angola and speaks seven languages. He’s also fluent in the language of poetry.

Victor said he was inspired by Monga, who fled Zambia.

Isabella Callery, a student from Minnesota, won the competition Wednesday night.