Lake County Youth Poet Laureate Program

The Lake County Arts Council and Lake County Poet Laureate 2020-2024 Georgina Marie are proud to announce the launch of our inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Program!

We have partnered with the National Youth Poet Laureate program, Urban Word NYC, to bring this program to you!

The application for the first Youth Poet Laureate opened in April 2022 and closed on July 1st, 2022. Stay tuned for updates!

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 13-19, and reside in Lake County.
  • Applicants attending any public school, homeschool, alternative or independent school are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must reside in and attend school in Lake County for the entirety of the program’s one year term.
  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + (LGBTQ+) youth are encouraged to apply.
  • LCAC will host application workshops to support teens with the application process and to help create required documents, such as a poetry portfolio of 5 poems and a CV/Resume which includes any school accomplishments (awards, club memberships, etc), community work (i.e. volunteer work, etc) and artistic, personal accomplishments (shows you’ve performed or produced, personal creative projects, etc.) Writing and performance workshops will also be offered.

Areas of Consideration:

  • A committee of respected local poets will review applications and choose finalists. They will be looking for someone who will make the most impact in the community while using a scoring rubric to judge the quality and content of the applicant’s application documents.
  • The YPL will be committed to the growth and development of their local community. They will be expected to strengthen and promote the quality of life in his or her community or school by promoting commitment to equity and inclusiveness, activism, and the fundamental right of youth to be outspoken. Examples include efforts in political activism, organizing, school participation, and volunteerism, as well as various educational and artistic initiatives.
  • They should also have demonstrated their commitment to literary arts and community engagement through participation in volunteer and community service, clubs, after school activities, and extra academic activities.

Timeline:

  • The YPL selection process will occur over the course of three months. Finalists will be notified and will be invited to perform their poetry at a public event hosted by LCAC and the Lake County Poet Laureate. The campaign will culminate with a commencement event to announce the winner.

More about the program:

Inspired by the non-stop momentum of youth poetry in the United States, we wanted Lake County to become part of the movement by creating the first Youth Poet Laureate program of the county.

We have partnered with Urban Word NYC, the very organization that hosts the National Youth Poet Laureate program, to both connect Lake County to partners across the country and for the Youth Poet Laureate to have access to a wide array of opportunities offered by Urban Word NYC. Many may be familiar with the widely known Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, who eloquently recited at President Biden’s inauguration in 2020. Our current National Youth Poet Laureate, Alexandra Huynh, is from our neighboring Sacramento.

Urban Word NYC celebrates the nation’s top poets who are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement, and social impact. Founded in New York City in 2008, the Youth Poet Laureate Program partners with local and national literary arts organizations across the country to elevate youth voices at the forefront of social change. Program partners and supporters include the Academy of American Poets, the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

With youth programs making a significant impact across the nation, implementing such a program in Lake County would directly support the voices of our rural youth, encourage a new sense of community, build public speaking and leadership skills for our appointee, and give opportunity for youth to speak for social justice, racial equality, and diversity. 

Not sure what a Youth Poet Laureate is or what they do?

From Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate Cydney Brown, “Being Youth Poet Laureate of Philadelphia means that I am the youth ambassador of poetry in Philadelphia. I lead workshops, partake in poetry readings, and talk about my experiences as a 16-year-old poet.”

Read more from her at: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/youth-poet-laureate-amanda-gorman-cydney-brown-philadelphia-20210122.html

Here is a video from the 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States.

Make a Donation!

We had a successful community fundraiser for the Youth Poet Laureate program and we are excited to have raised funds to support this program. Read more about the fundraiser here: https://www.lakecountybloom.com/bringing-art-to-the-community-lake-countys-youth-poet-laureate/

Would you like to make a donation towards the YPL program?Visit https://lakearts.org/joingive/donate/ to make a donation.