Hundreds of thousands of students competed in the 2011 “Poetry Out Loud” program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

They started in their classrooms and the finalists had one last chance on the stage of the historic Lincoln Theater.

At the end only one was left reciting a poem.

Youssef Biaz, 16, of Auburn, Ala. took the grand prize at the finals. Biaz recited “Filling Station” by Elizabeth Bishop.

The top prize is a $20,000 award and a gift of $500 for his school, Auburn High, to purchase poetry books.

Here’s a video of Biaz and his English teacher, David Thompson, talking about the program.