2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Release

A digital reveal of 2019/20 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee’s debut poetry collection, and an introduction to the 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate and cohort.

Welcome to the 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Release!

As we welcome another day of protests and demands for radical change to a system that has long ignored racial injustice in the Black community and communities of color, we also welcome the need for the moments of healing required in order to sustain the Black Lives Matter movement. Not only does the Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program strive to empower Seattle youth—it also offers a space for Seattle youth to ring loud with their brave voices, in the shape of poems of healing and solidarity.

This video gallery celebrates the achievement of 2019/20 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, Wei-Wei Lee, and the public release of her first poetry collection, In the Footsteps of a Thousand Griefs (Poetry NW Editions). The gallery opens with Wei-Wei reading from her debut, followed by conversation between Wei-Wei and her YPL mentors, Aaron Counts and Matt Gano.

Following this celebration, we welcome the incoming 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort in a series of videos. Click through the galleries below to see and hear select videos from 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Bitaniya Giday; the 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Ambassadors Helena Goos, Nathalie M., Victor Xia; and the 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Cohort members Sylvester Gross, Maeve Kenney, Violet Keteyian, Clarissa Perez, Lucia Santos, Connor Simon, and Hazel Windstorm.

 

FAQ

Whose work can I see here?

Video recordings are grouped by last name, in this order: the Seattle Youth Poet Laureates, the Seattle Youth Poet Ambassadors, and the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort. Here is the full list of participants:

Wei-Wei Lee, 2019/20 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Bitaniya Giday, 2020/21 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Helena Goos, 2020/21 Youth Poet Ambassador

Nathalie M., 2020/21 Youth Poet Ambassador

Victor Xia, 2020/21 Youth Poet Ambassador

Sylvester Gross, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Maeve Kenney, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Violet Keteyian, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Clarissa Perez, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Lucia Santos, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Hazel Windstorm, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Not present, but welcomed into the cohort is:

Connor Simon, 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate Cohort Member

Who are the 2020/21 Youth Poet Laureate mentors?

Arianne True and Laura Da’ will be the mentors for this upcoming year’s Youth Poet Laureate cohort. View their biographies here.

How can I purchase Wei-Wei’s book?

You can purchase In the Footsteps of a Thousand Griefs from Elliott Bay Book Company and Open Books: A Poem Emporium. Wei-Wei’s book can also be ordered from any other favorite local independent bookstore!

Can you tell me more about the YPL program?

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. Click here to learn more.

How can I support YPL?

Now, at this crucial time, we deeply appreciate donations of any size to our Youth Programs. Click here to donate.

What does SAL plan to do to support Black communities and communities of color during this time?

While providing a space for healing is important, it is also important that Seattle Arts & Lectures offers action. If you haven’t already, please click here to read a statement from our Executive Director, Ruth Dickey, on how our organization will respond to the movement moving forward. Have a question, idea, or comment? Email Ruth Dickey at rdickey@lectures.org.

Books

Elliott Bay Book Company

$15
Order Wei-Wei Lee's debut collection through Elliott Bay Book Company.

Purchase

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

$15
Order Wei-Wei Lee's debut collection through Open Books.

Purchase