Oakland Public Library Announces Winner of First Youth Poet Laureate Competition

Release Date: 
Tue, 09/11/2012

Oakland, CA – The Oakland Public Library is very excited to announce that STEPHANIE YUN has been selected as the City of Oakland’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate. Miss Yun will be crowned the Youth Poet Laureate during the LIFE is LIVING Festival, a public event that will take place at DeFremery Park, 1651 Adeline Street on Saturday, October 13, from 12 to 1 pm.

Stephanie Yun emerged as the best of seven highly talented finalists in a competition that began on April 1. The competition was staged by the Oakland Public Library’s Teen Services Department, in partnership with Youth Speaks, the country’s leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word performance, education and youth development programs. As the winner, Ms. Yun will receive a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to officially represent the Oakland Community through poetry, media, and public appearances.

STEPHANIE YUN is a lifelong Oakland resident and recent graduate of Skyline High School. At 18, Stephanie is a fixture in the Bay Area poetry community. She is a well-known slam poet on local and national stages, a mentor to fellow youth, and a published writer. She writes honestly, tenderly, and heartbreakingly about love, identity, our bodies and the tumult of emotions housed in them – reflecting the power of human connection and “the beauty of love / When we stop looking for it.” California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, a judge in this inaugural competition, calls Stephanie, “A breakthrough poet.”

Ms. Yun’s crowning as Oakland’s first Youth Poet Laureate will be a highlight of the LIFE is LIVING Festival, a celebration of urban life through hip-hop, intergenerational health, and environmental action. The festival runs from 11 am to 6 pm. Ms. Yun will be accompanied by the six other finalists in the Youth Poet Laureate competition.

Ms. Yun will make also an appearance with California’s statewide poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera during the Flor y Canto festival Saturday, September 15 at Brava Theater in San Francisco. The 5:30 pm reception will be a photo opportunity with Ms. Yun and Mr. Herrera. The Brava Theater is at 2781 24th Street. Call 415-641-7657 to arrange a press pass.

For more information, please contact Amy Sonnie, Teen Outreach Librarian, at 510-238-7233 or asonnie@oaklandlibrary.org