California Poets in the Schools in conjunction with Marin Community Foundation, Marin Poetry Center, Mill Valley Library and Urban Word NYC, are pleased to announce that Marin County has joined with other municipalities nationwide in celebrating and nurturing the voices of our youth by establishing a Youth Poet Laureate program. This program grew out of Marin Poetry Center’s Youth Poet Ambassador Program, established in 2021. Students throughout Marin county are eligible to apply for the stipended position of Youth Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador (which now serves as a runner-up to the YPL). As Laureates, they have the opportunity to publish both locally and in the national anthology produced by Urban Word NYC. Winners are also eligible to move on to the regional and national ranking. Additionally, Marin Poetry Center is able to offer a complimentary one-year membership to both candidates, and an opportunity to attend MPC workshops tuition-free, open or host MPC Reading events, visit Bay Area classrooms with English or bilingual instruction, and propose projects in conjunction with their creative interests. Throughout their term, both candidates should participate in a minimum of three public functions (in-person or online) in Marin county.
The Youth Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador (runner-up) serve for a period of one year (April - April), during which they participate in ceremonial, educational, and cultural activities encouraging community members to develop their own voices within the county. Youth Poet Laureates represent and celebrate the richly diverse communities of Marin County telling their stories and shaping the future narratives of communities to which they belong.
Candidates should be between the ages of 13 and 19 (incoming high school, college, or gap year), currently reside in Marin County, and demonstrate an interest in poetry, community, and social change. In appointing a Youth Poet Laureate and Ambassador, the Marin YPL Program will consider the quality of the candidate’s written-word and/or spoken-word poetry, as well as the candidate’s history of leadership or participation in community events with literary, environmental, and/or social justice focus. The Marin YPL Program may seek additional information from candidates or conduct interviews during the review process.
[It is the Marin YPL Program’s intent to make the application accessible to anyone. Please contact email@example.com for access needs.]
Applications will be open in January 8 to February 29, 2024 and will be reviewed by a panel of alumni from Marin Poetry Center’s Youth Ambassador program and Marin’s Poet Laureate Program. Winners will be notified in late-March. An inauguration ceremony will be held in April during National Poetry Month at the Mill Valley Library.
We are grateful for the support of our sponsors.
Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş, YPL Coordinator