Youth Poet Laureate Program
Due to COVID, the YPL program is postponed until early Spring.
Check here for updates.
Are you a poet between the ages of 13-18? Are you a future leader who champions community advocacy and aspires to make a social impact that promotes the quality of life in Long Beach? Are you looking for an opportunity that speaks to your passion for activism and your goals for equity and inclusion? If so, we want to hear your voice!
The application period for the Inaugural 2022 Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) will be open from January 10, 2022 through February 21, 2022. The culminating event will be scheduled in April 2022 (exact date to be determined).
What Is YPL?
The YPL program serves Long Beach youth with year-round literary arts, civic engagement, and performance opportunities. Our goals are to create a citywide community of young poets, to develop and cultivate the distinct voices of Long Beach youth, and to provide platforms to amplify these voices. We will name a Laureate and up to five Poet Ambassadors, who will serve as a cohort, representing literacy, arts, youth expression, and advocacy in our community from April 2022 – April 2023.
Who Can Apply?
To enter the 2022 Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate contest, you must be:
- a Long Beach resident
- between the ages of 13 and 18 as of February 21, 2022
- available to serve as Laureate for the program year, May 2022 - April 2023
How Do I Apply?
The six-week-long application period will open at 8:00 AM on January 10, 2022 and applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM on February 21, 2022. All applications should be submitted online and further instructions will be on this page by January 4, 2022.
Each application portfolio should have:
- 5 original poems
- Artist Statement
There will be several workshops throughout the city in January and February 2022 to assist you with developing your portfolio. Dates, times, and locations will be posted here by January 4, 2022.
Why Should I Apply?
- Scholarships! – The Laureate and the Poet Ambassadors will each receive a scholarship to further their educational pursuits.
- Performance Opportunities! – The cohort will be asked to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and their love of Long Beach at local and regional events throughout the course of the year.
- Leadership Experience! – The Laureate will develop their own poet-leader project during the YPL year. The entire cohort will serve as role models and will grow a community of young poets and youth advocates.
- Mentor Support! – The cohort will be provided with opportunities to work with mentors who are active in the local poetry community.
The 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.
For any questions, please contact Fiorella Casella, Teen Librarian at the Billie Jean King Main Library, at Fiorella.Casella@lbpl.org or 562-570-6657.