2019 Youth Poet Laureate Series
The National Youth Poet Laureate initiative (YPL) is a program of Urban Word, an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization, that strives to elevate the voices of teens while promoting civic engagement and social justice. Through building visible and deep-seated partnerships with city agencies and government, the YPL program situates youth voices in spaces of power and attempts to equip young people with opportunities to creatively respond to the litany of social and political factors that impact their cities and their lives. To be recognized as a city or region’s Youth Poet Laureate, young people undergo a comprehensive and rigorous application process that considers not only the artistic merit and subject matter of their writing, but also their commitment to servicing their communities in a number of extracurricular ways. The first and only of its kind in the nation, the NYPL program strives to provide a platform for youth to assume central roles in the cultural and political climates of their communities.