Youth Poet Laureate
Honoring young writers and leaders committed to civic and community engagement.
Introducing the New Youth Poet Laureate
— Lily Baumgart, 2017/18 Youth Poet Laureate
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.
— Jess Walter, on 2016/17 Youth Poet Laureate Maven Gardner
She is a ferocious and talented 20-year-old writer. If you don’t buy her book, I will not be your friend.
Ways to Get Involved
Attention all young poets, rappers, leaders, and activists ages 14-19 living in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region! Are you interested in representing the city as the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate? WITS will open submissions for the 2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate at the end of March 2019. Check back for details then!
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 Northwest 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. Seattle Arts & Lectures and our other partners recognize that youth voice and community engagement are vital for empowering young people to effect positive changes in their communities and beyond.
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 2018/19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate? Applications are currently closed, but next year’s Youth Poet Laureate contest opens March 2019.
Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Leaders
2018/19 Youth Poet Laureate
2018/19 Youth Poet Ambassador
2018/19 & 2016/17 Youth Poet Ambassador
2017/18 Youth Poet Laureate
2017/18 Youth Poet Ambassador
2016/17 Youth Poet Laureate
2016/17 Youth Poet Ambassador
2015/16 Youth Poet Laureate