A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Youth Poet Laureate

An Interview with Bitaniya Giday, Youth Poet Laureate

By Gabriela Denise Frank When I watched Bitaniya Giday perform her poem, “Hyphenated Identity Crisis,” I didn’t know I would interview her. The video, which introduced Bitaniya as the 2020/2021 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, was filmed outside on a breezy day rather than inside a dramatically-lit theater. Bitaniya read from her phone in front of […]

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“Hyphenated Identity Crisis,” by Bitaniya Giday

Hyphenated Identity Crisis   And the American war machine takes on the motherland And I finally am no longer A hyphenated identity crisis See the words Ethiopian-American Imply me a patriot for the casualty of war they make out of my birthplace We diaspora longed to find home on the winning Side, in exchange our […]

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Youth Poet Laureate Finalists stand in a circle with one hand extended in the center

The 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Applications Have Opened!

Attention all young poets, rappers, leaders, and activists in the greater Seattle area, ages 14-19: are you interested in representing Seattle as the 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate? We’re now accepting applications for this year’s Youth Poet Laureate program, and we want to see your work! What is the YPL program? Since 2015, the Seattle Youth […]

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Find Connection with the #SALMoment of the Day

With our daily lives disrupted, we are all working to finding new forms of togetherness. From balconies, Italians break into song and Spain applauds its healthcare workers. Bookshops hand-deliver to Seattle porches. Local relief funds have opened up for artists and hospitality workers. And we at Seattle Arts & Lectures want to do what we […]

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A girl in her late teens, with braided hair, stands in front of a display of colored pencils, organized by color.

“A Poem For My Future Child,” by Zoë Mertz

Inspired by Sarah Kay’s “B” (or “If I Should Have A Daughter”) To my little chick, hidden away, not yet emergent, When you are born, your eyes will be planets reflecting the depths of the universe: moon-starer, they’ll call you, my young astronomer, a child of the stars. Chickadee, small and sweet, your feathers speckled […]

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In a portrait shot, Carmen Maria Machado stands at a reception with a young student.

“Valentine,” by Marina Chen

Valentine there is a red-quilted heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting on my bedside and a pink envelope with my name on it          written in a script that speaks          secrets I will never spill even if the time      comes that the script          is all I have left to remember rain on a green ice cream […]

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Lily Baumgart's profile is thrown into sharp relief against stage lights. Their hair is cropped short casts a shadow onto their cheek. They are wearing a yellow turtleneck with a wide-collared coat. A red SAL logo is behind the lectern where they're speaking.

“Dissection of a Western Kingbird,” by Lily Baumgart

Extinguish larynx, strung down neck & plucked from voice box, pulling out a sharp snap; I holler to the kingbird out of loneliness. Feathered body & beak yellowed with age, sleek wings broken in by many winters, his dead eyes, refusing to acknowledge. Measurements of clawed feet, the push of the scalpel into his full […]

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Wei-Wei Lee, looking slightly over her shoulder, grins at the camera amid a black backdrop lit by multicolored, circular lights.

“cold hard marble truth,” by Wei-Wei Lee

It’s a mite hard to believe on nights like this that, somewhere, I have friends who aren’t dream-deep and snug in their beds, asleep, but may be dozing off in lecture with pens stuttering on notes; air conditioners humming furious against the peak afternoon heat. Harder still to believe, that while they scribble and we […]

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Maia Pody stands in front of a blurred out background of a body of water, with boats behind her. She's looking down at a page she is reading aloud from.

YPL Ambassador Maia Pody Has Something to Say

Need to brighten up your Thursday afternoon? Nancy Guppy’s Art Zone brings us this video, beautifully shot by Vincent Pierce, of our 2019 Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador Maia Pody reading her poem “Foam.” Thank you to Nancy Guppy and Seattle Channel for making this possible, and to Maia for sharing her work!

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Get Spooky in Seattle: WITS Writers at Lit Crawl

Like a choice bowl of Halloween candy, this year’s Lit Crawl on October 24 is sprinkled with a healthy dose of our Writers in the Schools (WITS) and Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programs. But which WITS writers will be where? Here’s a handy guide to help you map it out. But readers be warned—you have […]

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