Honoring young writers and leaders committed to civic and community engagement.
Congratulations to our new Youth Poet Laureate, Wei-Wei Lee of Nathan Hale High School, who will represent youth writing, leadership, and civic and community engagement throughout the Puget Sound region this year!
Azura Tyabji, 2018/19 Youth Poet Laureate, has released her debut poetry collection, STEPWELL (PNW Editions). Nikkita Oliver says of her book: “In a time when we are in desperate need of mystics, prophets and healers Azura’s work brings together all three.”
Watch the PBS NewsHour presentation on Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna’s “Poetic Grid” Project, including a video performance from 2017/18 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Lily Baumgart.
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify youth writers and leaders who are committed to poetry and performance, civic and community engagement, education and equity across the Puget Sound Region. Youth Poet Laureates share their powerful voices, leadership, and love of community at events throughout the region over the course of the year, and also publish their poems in a collection released in May.
Youth Poet Laureates have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and love of Seattle at regional events throughout the course of the year. They also publish a poetry collection, released in May by Poetry NW Editions, when the next Youth Poet Laureate is announced.
The collections of former Youth Poet Laureates are available through Penmanship Books.
To be granted this position this year has given me a louder voice, but it has also made people take me and my writing legitimately.
— Lily Baumgart, 2017/18 Youth Poet Laureate
Azura Tyabji is an emerging poet, prose writer and justice seeker cuspinig new genres and bending Documentary style poetry. A modern day apostle of unrepentant certitude . . . May all the established poets hold [this] new work, by [this] new author closely.
— Anastacia-Renee, Seattle Civic Poet, Author of (v.), Forget it, and Answer (Me)
She is a ferocious and talented 20-year-old writer. If you don’t buy her book, I will not be your friend.
— Jess Walter, on 2016/17 Youth Poet Laureate Maven Gardner
Ways to Get Involved
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to poetry and performance, civic and community engagement, education and equity across the Puget Sound Region. Along with the prestigious title of Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also get a book deal from local publisher Poetry NW Editions to publish their first collection of poems.
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate will have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voice, their leadership, and love for the city at events throughout the region over the course of the following year. A group of esteemed judges chooses eight finalists from the application pool, and selects one teen to be honored with the title of Youth Poet Laureate and a runner-up Youth Poet Ambassador at the annual Commencement Performance.
Know a star poet, rapper, or leader who you think would be a fantastic fit for the title of 2019 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate? Submissions for the 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate will open next spring. View the previous year’s application here.