A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Youth Poet Laureate

“And They Do” by Helena Goos

The silence stretches, yawning across the land. Quiet, so quiet. A strange reverie, unbroken by sound.                         The bombs have stopped. The children, born in a world where the thunder is a part of life, whimper. The elders, so few, so old, raise their heads in disbelief. For they remember, a time when bombs did […]

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An Interview with Laura Da’ & Arianne True, Co-Mentors of Seattle’s Youth Poet Laureate Program

By Gabriela Denise Frank  As our nation’s underpinnings come under greater scrutiny, I’ve been in a parallel process of personal inquiry, digging into generational and cultural foundations that have shaped my writing practice and relationship to art-making, capitalism, and self-worth. You know, easy, light stuff. Months of reflection have revealed how my upbringing isn’t a […]

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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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