Youth Poet Laureate Mentor

Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) has three primary goals:

  • Build a flourishing literary community where youth voices are heard and celebrated.
  • Encourage self-expression and connect youth to the Seattle literary community
  • Support youth who are dedicated to performance, civic and community engagement, and equity.

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) is a literary arts education program of Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL). Comprised of brilliant youth poets, the YPL cohort meets monthly for virtual poetry workshops led by professional poet mentors. YPL Cohort members perform at local reading events, connect with peer writers, and share their voices in a community that centers joy, curiosity, and self-expression.

For the coming 2023-24 school year, SAL is hiring two paid YPL Mentors— practicing poets in the community—who will work alongside one another to develop curriculum, lead poetry workshops, prepare youth for readings, and support one youth in publishing a book of poems. We are looking for YPL Mentors who can bring varied interests, passions, and play to the cohort. Monthly workshops are generative and nourishing for youth, with an emphasis on the joy of creativity.

We especially encourage Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of color, writers from the LGBTQ+ community, bilingual writers, and writers from interdisciplinary backgrounds to apply. YPL Mentors must show a demonstrated commitment to anti-racist pedagogy and practice.

Youth Programs staff will coordinate the scheduling of monthly cohort meetings and plan 3 readings during the year. Attendance at the 3 readings is required for YPL Mentors. The monthly cohort meetings begin in September and end in June.

Required Qualifications:

  • 1-2 years of creative teaching or mentoring experience with middle or high school students.
  • Availability to work 2 hours a month in fall of 2023 (monthly cohort meetings + monthly check-ins with YPL) as well as 3 hours a month in spring of 2024 (YPL book process is more intensive in spring, more check-ins as needed).
  • Availability to work 3 hours in spring of 2023 to read applications and select YPL cohort members for coming year.
  • Established record of community engagement (e.g. through record of publications, performances, or other community events). YPL Mentors actively work on their own writing and are eager participants in the Seattle literary community.
  • Outstanding literary editing skills and meticulous attention to detail.
  • A demonstrated commitment to anti-racist pedagogy, access, and social-emotional learning,
  • Interest in making the YPL cohort a space for joy and belonging for all youth.
  • Desire, ability, and flexibility to collaborate with another YPL Mentor.
  • Reliability in all scheduled time with the YPL cohort.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. YPL Mentors are expected to communicate with students and Youth Programs staff in a timely manner.
  • A sense of humor, flexibility, and responsiveness to differing youth needs.
  • A positive, friendly and respectful attitude when working with students, the co-YPL Mentor, Youth Programs staff, teachers, and other community partners.

Expectations:

  • Facilitate monthly YPL cohort meetings by leading youth in words games, offering writing prompts, and providing professional development to youth as writers.
  • Provide regular verbal encouragement to the youth on their writing.
  • Attend all youth readings (3 over the course of the school year).
  • Lead monthly check-ins with one youth who holds the title of Youth Poet Laureate to support them in publishing their own book through Poetry NW Editions, may be bi-monthly as needed
  • Review all YPL cohort applications and meet with the selection committee to choose the Youth Poet Laureate and cohort members for the 2023-24 school year
  • Attend a planning meeting with Youth Programs staff before the school year begins to outline monthly workshop topics and shared goals
  • Prepare and circulate to Youth Programs Staff a workshop plan and visual aid (PowerPoint) for each cohort meeting
  • Be observed by Youth Programs Staff twice annually and participate in one-on-one debrief sessions
  • Complete an annual self-evaluation and review with Youth Programs Staff at the mid-year point
  • Maintain confidentiality about all student work.
  • Actively participate in YPL Cohort events; have a vested interest in building community among the Youth Poet Laureate Cohort

Compensation & Opportunities:

  • A $5,000 stipend, paid in two annual installments
  • Free tickets to all SAL events in the 2023-24 Season (org/events)

Application Deadline: Monday, February 13th, 2022

Please submit:

  1. A cover letter.
  2. A resume.
  3. One page describing (3) specific goals you would have for facilitating a YPL meeting, and why these goals feel essential to you.
  4. An idea for a pairing of a mentor text (a poem by a writer you admire) and a suggested writing prompt inspired by that piece.
    • Optional: a 1-page creative or work-related writing sample of one’s own writing.

 

Please save all materials as one pdf document labelled Firstname.Lastname_YPL2023-24. Send your application materials to [email protected] and title your email YPL 2023-24 Application.

 

Hiring Timeline & Process

  • Applications due: Monday, February 13th, 2023
  • Phone interviews: February 20th – February 24th
  • In-person interviews: February 27th – March 3rd