Meet the Six Amazing 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists!

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is an unprecedented citywide effort to celebrate literacy through poetry and connect young writers to far-reaching opportunities. Each year we accept submissions from talented Oakland writers (ages 13-18) to be considered for the city’s top literary honor. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression.

It's been a strange year. In the midst of so much uncertainty and so much change, we are glad to be able to bring you, as we do each year, these amazing young poets. Art, poetry, and the voices of our young people matter, and Oakland is so lucky to have such incredible wealth of talent.  

This year we have six wonderful Finalists. Please join us live on Facebook on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 7PM to find out who our next Youth Poet Laureate is! Hear amazing performances from all of our finalists and our current Laureate, Samuel Getachew. 

You do not need a Facebook account to attend.  Although Facebook will ask you to log in, you can dismiss this and watch the event!

You don't want to miss it!

Every few days leading up to the final event we'll be introducing a Finalist by sharing an interview with them.  Keep an eye on this space to meet all of these incredible young poets.

First up, 14-year-old Hunter Jackson:


Meet 15-year-old Siara Edmond:


15-year old Greer Nakadegawa-Lee is next:


Chiana Griswa is 16 years old and our next Finalist:


Meet 17-year-old Michelle Arango:

See video


And, finally, here is Jordan Tisnado, who is 18 years old:


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