Youth Poet Laureate Program
Calling All Poets from the Page to the Stage...
The second annual "Youth Poet Laureate" contest for 2013 is now underway.
Beginning in March 2013, we will be accepting submissions from talented young writers (ages 13-18) to be considered for this top literary honor. The winning poet will earn a $5,000 educational scholarship and embark on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression.
Application Deadline is Friday, April 19, 2013.
About the Youth Poet Laureate Program
Initiated by the Oakland Public Library and Youth Speaks in 2012, this program marks an unprecedented effort to celebrate literacy through poetry, connect young writers to citywide opportunities, and showcase their incredible talent on the page and on the stage. The annual contest is supported by more than a dozen community organizations with funding from Youth Speaks and the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Click here to follow the Youth Poet Laureate program on Facebook.
The competition garnered more than 3 dozen applications during its first year. Seven finalists went on to perform in venues such as Oakland's Art & Soul Festival, before our first-ever Youth Poet Laureate was named in September 2012. The winner, Stephanie Yun of Skyline High School, has since performed in venues from City Hall to juvenile hall to the nationally televised America's Children Holiday Parade.
About Stephanie Yun (2012 Winner)
"Here is the poet who conjures the poem, brave, deep, crisscrossed with fleshy 'star' charts, like the ones of Asia, on curved stone, in the 12th century, speaking of distant rotations, yet intimate and infinite. ...A breakthrough poet." - Juan Felipe Herrera, CA Poet Laureate
Stephanie Yun is an Oakland native, a Skyline grad, a Cal student, Oakland Unified School District Poetry Slam Champion, and a Brave New Voices youth ambassador. She has contributed to some of the more significant youth poetry stages in the country and at age 18 she is the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland. Stephanie is a poet's poet - the kind that writes out of necessity, the one that writes to live, and more fully. She writes honestly, tenderly, and heartbreakingly about the real things: love, identity, our bodies and the tumult of emotions that are housed in them. Our state's poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera calls her "a breakthrough poet," and we believe him, because we believe her. Click here to follow Stephanie on Facebook.