Honoring young writers committed to civic and community engagement.
Spikenard is available to purchase!
We’re thrilled to announce the May 2022 release of Spikenard by the 2021/22 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Zinnia Hansen. The seventh collection in the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Series, Spikenard is a philosophical contemplation of family, religion, and the reverential observations of an interior mind.
We’re thrilled to announce the June 2021 release of Motherland, the very first collection of poetry by the 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Bitaniya Giday, published by Poetry NW Editions. Motherland is available to purchase both online and in-store at Open Books: A Poem Emporium or online at Amazon.com.
The 2021/22 Youth Poet Laureate Release
Join us for a moment of celebration, contemplation, and healing found in the brave voices of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program. Scroll below to view our new video gallery, which celebrates the announcement of Zinnia Hansen as the 2021/22 Youth Poet Laureate, as well as original works from the entire 2021/22 YPL cohort!
“Poetry Resonates”—An Interview with Youth Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee
Wei-Wei Lee, our 2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate, is a poet whose work pays tribute to both Taiwan and America in her writing. This summer, we sat down virtually with Wei-Wei to ask her about everything from coping with writer’s anxiety, to how place informs her creative practice, to the advice she would give youth writing […]
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program aims to identify youth writers and leaders committed to poetry, performance, civic and community engagement, education, and equity across the Puget Sound region.
The Youth Poet Laureate, along with their YPL cohort, has numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and love of Seattle at regional events throughout the course of the year.
The Youth Poet Laureate also publishes a poetry collection, released in May by Poetry NW Editions, when the next Youth Poet Laureate of the following year is announced. All students selected as finalists will also be invited to be part of a year-long cohort of poets working together in workshops, on collaborative print projects, and at public readings.
Beauty is a tongue you will learn to speak.
— “For Black Boys,” by 2015/16 Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr
It’s a strange thing to know that you’re loved. A foreign concept, but these, surely, are foreign lands.
— Wei-Wei Lee, 2019/20 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.
— 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)
The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to poetry, performance, civic and community engagement, education, and equity across the Puget Sound Region.
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.
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. And, at events throughout the region over the course of the next year, the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate will have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voice, leadership, and love for the city.
Submissions for the 2022/23 Youth Poet Laureate program will be open from March 25 – April 25, 2022. Download an application.
Know a star poet, rapper, or leader who you think would be a fantastic fit for the title of Seattle Youth Poet Laureate? Encourage them to apply!