Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate Program
CONGRATULATIONS to Claire Beeli, our inaugural Youth Poet Laureate.
and our Poet Ambassadors (left to right):
Helena Donato-Sapp, Matilda Iem, Kieran Lundy, Sofia Uribe.
About the Program
The Youth Poet Laureate program aims to nurture and celebrate the voices of youth poet-activists ages 13–18 through workshops, performance and publication opportunities, community projects, and mentor support from local working poets.
Once selected, the Youth Poet Laureate cohort—comprised of the Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Ambassadors—will commit themselves to a year of representing literacy, the arts, and civic engagement in Long Beach.
Check out our program calendar for upcoming events!
Youth Festival Reading and Workshop
Saturday, September 9, 11:00 AM–3:00 PM at LBCC Pacific Coast Campus (PCC)
California Poet Laureate Reading
Friday, October 6, 10:30 AM–12:00 PM at Renaissance High School for the Arts
Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate Claire Beeli will read alongside California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick and other poets.
Mercadito Literario Reading
Saturday, October 7, 11:00 AM–3:00 PM at Billie Jean King Main Library
Illustrating Poetry with Matilda Iem
Saturday, October 21, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM at Mark Twain Neighborhood Library
Don't miss this teen workshop led by Poet Ambassador, Matilda Iem. Participants will combine visual art with language to create unique, multidisciplinary works.
Saturday, November 4, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM at Harte Neighborhood Library
Youth Poet Laureate Reading
Wednesday, November 8, 6:00 PM–7:30 PM at Bel Canto Books at KUBO LB
Saturday, December 16, 2:15 PM–3:15 PM at Los Altos Neighborhood Library
Tuesday, January 9, 5:00 PM–6:00 PM at Burnett Neighborhood Library
Youth Poet Laureate Reading
Thursday, January 25, 6:00 PM–7:30 PM at Casita Bookstore
Saturday, February 10, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM at Billie Jean King Main Library
End of Year Exhibition Showcase
Applications are now closed for the 2023–2024 Youth Poet Laureate program year.
Are you a working poet interested in mentoring the future generation of poets? If so,we'd love to hear from you!*
Poet mentors will meet with their mentees 2 hours a month—virtually or at Billie Jean King Main Library—throughout the service year to guide youth poets in the development of their chapbook manuscript.
To be considered, please email Kiana.Martin@lbpl.org with a writing sample (no longer than 5 pages) and resume. Please highlight prior teaching experience.
We look forward to hearing from you!
*Interested poet mentors must be available for the entirety of the service year: May 2023 to March 2024. Hourly compensation is provided.
What will the Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Ambassadors do?
The Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Ambassadors must be available to serve a full program year that begins May 2023 and ends April 2024. Together, the YPL Cohort will plan, execute, and promote a citywide literary initiative that engages youth in art and activism.
Am I eligible to apply?
All applicants must be Long Beach residents between the ages of 13 and 18 as of January 10, 2023, as well as available to serve as Poet Laureate for the program year, May 2023 through April 2024.
When can I apply?
Applications open January 10, 2023, and close February 28, 2023.
What do I need to apply?
To apply for the Youth Poet Laureate program, all you need is a computer and some poems! The application consists of:
- YPL Application, which asks for basic information
- A portfolio of 5 complete poems.
- A Curriculum Vitae (optional), where you'll note your civic and social engagement experience
You can download the application and templates in the "Submitting Your YPL Application" section above. Don't have a computer? Stop by your local LBPL location and use one for free.
Can LBPL help me prepare my application?
Absolutely! From October until the application deadline, the Library will host "Poet Hours" (available in person and via Zoom) on select Thursdays from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. Visit the Program Calendar or LBPL Event Calendar to check when the next session is.
How many Youth Poet Laureates will there be?
Up to 15 finalists will be selected and only 1 will be announced Youth Poet Laureate. Up to 4 runners-up will be named Poet Ambassadors and, together with the Youth Poet Laureate, they will serve as the inaugural Long Beach YPL Cohort.
What do the Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Ambassadors receive?
In addition to a scholarship, the Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Ambassadors will receive the mentorship and resources needed to bring their community projects and vision of Long Beach's future to life.
When do we find out who won?
Finalists will be notified via email by March 21, 2023. The Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate and five Poet Ambassadors will be announced at the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate commencement ceremony, which will take place on the third week of April. Date and time are TBD.
I have more questions. Who can I contact?
Please contact Kiana Martin at email@example.com or call the Library at (562) 570-6657.
The Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) Program is administered through a collaboration between the Long Beach Public Library and the Arts Council for Long Beach, with support from Urban Word. Funding for this citywide program is provided by the City of Long Beach.