Poet Laureate

Oakland Youth Poet Laureate: In partnership with the Oakland Public Library, this program is the first of its kind. 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 young writers (ages 13-18) to be considered for the city’s top literary honor. The winning poet earns an educational scholarship and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression. In addition to the annual poetry competition, the program includes year-round workshops, public performances, publishing, and mentoring for young writers.

2014 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate

On Saturday, August 16th we held the 3rd Annual Youth Poet Laureate Award Ceremony & Book Launch at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland. Each finalist had an opportunity to share a piece with the audience before we announced the winner. The reading highlighted the tremendous talent and power possessed by every youth poet who touched stage. Youth Speaks Lead Artist, Dennis Kim artfully facilitated the evening and reminded the audience that "humanity has never been able to survive without poetry, without art, without a place to heal our wounds." We ended the evening with a compelling feature from the 2012 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, Stephanie Yun. At the very end, we announced the 2014 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate (drum roll, please): Sophie Elkin. Sophie received a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to officially represent the Oakland community through poetry, media, and public appearances. We would like to extend our gratitude to every brilliant Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalist: Aaron Godinez, Ajali De Veaux-Griffith, Emily Kim, Guisela Mishel-Ramos, Imani Diltz, Maria Cruz, Mina Jameson, Sophie Elkin and Torin Rittenberg. For more information on Sophie Elkin, visit: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/teens/events-programs/youth-poet-laureate-program [one_half]2014OYPL[/one_half] [one_half_last]

Presented by Oakland Public Library, Youth Speaks and Pro Arts, the Youth Poet Laureate program is supported by more than dozen community partners representing Oakland’s leading arts, education and community organizations. Scholarship funding is provided by the John diTargiani Fund at Youth Speaks and the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Scholarship administration and academic support is provided by ScholarMatch.

Community Partners: Oakland School for the Arts, Mills College, Generations Literary Journal, Youth Radio, Oakland Unified School District, Write-to-Read and Alameda County Library, California Poets in the Schools, Chapter 510 (a made-in-Oakland literacy and writing project), and BeastCrawl.[/one_half_last] [one_half]

Past Winners

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