Youth Poet Laureate Program
Coming soon! 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!
What Is the Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) Program?
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 during the program year.
Who Can Apply?
To enter the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate contest, you must be:
- a Long Beach resident
- between the ages of 13 to 18 as of the application deadline
- available to serve as Laureate for the program year
How Do I Apply?
There will be a six-week-long application period. All applications should be submitted online.
Each application portfolio should have:
- 5 original poems
- Artist Statement
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.