Youth Poetry Fellowship

Honoring young writers committed to civic and community engagement.

Applications for the 2023-24 Youth Poetry Fellowship are open March 27th-April 28th!

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!

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.

The Youth Poetry Fellowship (YPF) program is made up of a group of teen writers and leaders committed to poetry, performance, civic and community engagement, education, and equity across the Puget Sound region.

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, along with the Youth Poetry Fellows, 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.

Over the course of the school year, Fellows meet for workshops, collaborate print projects, and perform 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)

Ways to Get Involved

For Students

Applications for the 2023-24 YPF program are open from March 27 – April 28, 2023. 

The Youth Poetry Fellowship offers:

The Youth Poetry Fellowship is a year-long poetry fellowship for youth (ages 14-19) led by mentors Nanya Jhingran & Jourdan I. Keith. Fellows meet in Seattle every other month on weekday early evenings (September 2023, November 2023, January 2024, March 2024, May 2024) for mentor-led workshops that focus on generative writing and community building. Participation in the fellowship also includes seasonal reading opportunities and free access to all 2023-2024 Seattle Arts and Lectures events and the chance to read on SAL stages as opening reader for visiting writers.

One fellow will be selected to serve as the Youth Poet Laureate (YPL). The YPL will be a leader within the fellowship and will work closely with mentors to publish a book of poems through Poetry NW Editions. The YPL will also receive additional public reading opportunities and will serve as a youth voice to the broader literary community.

Note: All applicants to the Fellowship can opt-in to be considered for the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate position, but it is not a requirement.

To Apply

  • Applications for the 2023-24 Youth Poetry Fellowship are open from March 27th-April 28th, 2023.
  • Fill out this Google form to submit your application. Please upload 3 original typed poems in a PDF, and 1 video recording (3 minutes or less) of you reading an original poem in the Google form.
  • Your entire application is due by 6pm on Friday, April 28th. Each applicant will be considered for the Fellowship, and you can opt-in to be considered for the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Role.

For Teachers

Applications for the 2023-24 Youth Poetry Fellowship program are open from March 27 – April 28, 2023. Youth can apply here.

Know a star poet or leader who you think would be a fantastic fit for the Youth Poetry Fellowship and/or the title of Seattle Youth Poet Laureate? Encourage them to apply!

For Community Members

Interested in inviting the current Youth Poet Laureate to speak at your event? Fill out this Speaker Request Form, and email [email protected] to be connected.

To connect with current or past Youth Poet Laureates on other matters, email [email protected].

Youth Poetry Fellows

Sah Pham

2022/23 Youth Poet Laureate

Bayla Cohen-Knott

2022/23 YPL Publishing Leader

Rowan Saunders

2022/23 YPL Events Leader

Aamina Mughal

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Abby Skeel

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Adhya Kona

22/23 YPL Cohort

Diane Sun

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Caden LaMar

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Keegan York

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Kenyon Eshenbaugh

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Kiana Gladney

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Kyle Gerstel

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Natasha Last-Bernal

2022/23 YPL Cohort

Arianne True

Youth Poet Laureate Mentor

Sasha LaPointe

Youth Poet Laureate Mentor

Zinnia Hansen

2021/22 Youth Poet Laureate

Sejal Akerkar

2021/22 YPL Cohort Leadership Ambassador

Bayla Cohen-Knott

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Wilhelmina Colby-Oosterwyk

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Ricardo Gurango

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Ayana Islas

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Henry Morgan

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Avni Rao

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Margot Ratchman

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Talulla Shaughnessy

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Zora Sowinska

2021/22 YPL Cohort

Arianne True

Youth Poet Laureate Mentor

Laura Da’

WITS Writer

Bitaniya Giday

2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate

Helena Goos

2020/21 Youth Poet Cohort Leadership & Coordination Ambassador

Nathalie M.

2020/21 Youth Poet Public Outreach & Exposure Ambassador

Victor Xia

2020/21 Youth Poet Digital Engagement Ambassador

Arianne True

Youth Poet Laureate Mentor

Laura Da’

WITS Writer

Wei-Wei Lee

2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate

Maia Pody

2019/20 Youth Poet Ambassador

Azura Mizan Tyabji

2018/19 Youth Poet Laureate

Emrys Foster

2018/19 & 2016/17 Youth Poet Ambassador

Hiroshi Sakauye

2018/19 Youth Poet Ambassador

Lily Baumgart

2017/18 Youth Poet Laureate

Namaka Auwae-Dekker

2017/18 Youth Poet Ambassador

Maven Gardner

2016/17 Youth Poet Laureate

Emrys Foster

2018/19 & 2016/17 Youth Poet Ambassador

Joseph Hairston

2016/17 Youth Poet Ambassador

Leija Farr

2015/16 Youth Poet Laureate

Aaron Counts

Co-founder of Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program

Matt Gano

Renaissance School of Art & Reasoning