Marin Poetry Center

Marin Youth Poet Laureate & Ambassador

Youth Poet Laureate

Mira Sridharan (Sophomore, The Branson School) started writing poetry in fifth grade for fun and since then has developed a passion for reading and writing. She got into poetry as a form of activism in the summer before freshman year and has been experimenting with it ever since. Outside of writing, her hobbies include cooking and walking her dog. She hopes to inspire other high schoolers to expand their comfort zones and share their stories.
Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador

Ruby Kosek (Junior, at Tamalpais High School) is a passionate advocate for social justice, environmental conservation, and civic engagement, whether through law, poetry, or politics. She competes on award-winning slam poetry and mock trial teams and interns with an organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongfully convicted and sharing their art and poetry with the public. She also campaigns to energize young voters and grows organic fruit and vegetables to donate to local food banks. To recharge, Ruby immerses herself in nature, kayaking on rivers and hiking up mountains. She finds freedom and power in language and believes that poetry is one of the most honest forms of communication. 
Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador

Clarisse Kim (Junior, Abraham Lincoln High School)) fell in love with poetry as a freshman, when her English teacher showed her the potency of poetic nuance. Her sophomore English teacher described the writing process as “making sauce”—boiling essays worth of emotion down into a single rich stanza. Her work has been published in the Marin Poetry Center High School Anthology, the Weight Journal, and Under the Madness Magazine. When she isn't writing, Clarisse can be found eating her weight in MadeGood berry granola bars or playing (and losing) crane games. She aims to inspire youth to write more poetry and to cook as much sauce as our community can savor.  
Youth Poet Co-Ambassador

I’ve always used poetry as an outlet for my emotions. Sometimes I’ll just write prose, and other times I’ll use poetry in my songwriting. The power of words is so important and I believe that teens today can make such an impact with what they have to say. I hope to help MPC develop a program that encourages high schoolers to share their unique experiences, cultures, and emotions, and step out of their comfort zones.

Naomi Ko loves to play the guitar, write, and sing in her free time. She is a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep and will be an Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper this fall. She also contributes to SI’s literary & arts journal and plays in the jazz band.
Youth Poet Co-Ambassador

Cade Palmer is a Junior at Novato High School and a member of the Marin School of the Arts Creative Writing program. He began experimenting with short fiction near the end of middle school and has since developed a profound passion for poetry and its potential to impact the communities we participate in. He has been featured in numerous publications both in and out of school and continuously seeks out greater heights through which he might hope to influence the younger members of his generation to develop their creative lens and see the relevance of art in our understanding of the place we live in.
Youth Poet Co-Ambassador

I remember my first introduction to poetry. It comes to me in snippets, images of me and my classmates crafting haiku poems on desks sticky with glue, little papers fluttering to the carpet. I loved how when I wrote, the world faded away and I was left in a space where I could do anything, be anyone, while also being myself….Writers can change the world. Words are powerful and can leave a lasting imprint, not only in our communities but in our hearts. 

Tashi Manchip enjoys reading, writing, and doing art in her free time. She has assisted in elementary school classrooms both in-person and online. Tashi is a Senior at Tamalpais High School and will co-lead their Creative Writing Club this fall.
Youth Poet Co-Ambassador

Poetry has improved my life because it allows me to express myself when I’m feeling stressed or uncertain. I believe the practice of self-expression is an important part of being human, and that writing poetry can be both self-healing and self-reflective. I want to help others experience this feeling. In order to strengthen my community and the well-being of my peers and neighbors, I seek to spread the beauty of poetry all across the county. In addition, I further aspire to help establish a program in Marin that would allow the county to nominate an individual for Youth Poet Laureate. 

Jackson Bramlette is a Senior at Redwood High School and will lead their Creative Writing Club this fall. 
Youth Poet Ambassador

Harita Kalvai serves as MPC's Inaugural Youth Poet Ambassador, and an incoming junior at Terra Linda High School, and within TL, the Marin School of Environmental Leadership. Throughout middle and high school she became more involved with social advocacy - especially surrounding Climate Change - leading to a position as the leader of Marin Citizen Climate Lobby’s youth action team. Alongside CCL, she also works with Beyond Differences on ending social isolation in middle schools. This past January, she worked with Marin Poetry Center, the Mill Valley Library, and CCL on a Poetry/Environmentalism event called Words To Live By, which was focused on teenagers using poetry as a way to express their thoughts on the effects of climate change.

The Marin County Youth Poet Laureate program seeks to support arts leadership in younger generations of poets by providing them with platforms that allow them to use their art as an active way of building social change in their community. 

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 rankings. 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 for access needs.]


Applications for the 2024-2025 year are now closed. Winners will be notified in late-March. An inauguration ceremony will be held on April 23 during National Poetry Month at the Mill Valley Library. More info here.


Ryan Nakano is an Okinawan/Japanese American poet, journalist and aspiring birder currently living in Huchiun, on the unceded lands of the Lisjan Ohlone (Oakland, CA) with his wonderful partner and cat. His poems have been published in Riksha Magazine as well as Voicemail Poems. When he has time, he contributes to the Nichi Bei Weekly as a freelance writer. His debut chapbook I Am Minor came out in February 2023 by Nomadic Press and will continue on through Black Lawrence Press. 

Tracy Jones is a Thai-American poet, cultural curator, and literary citizen who hails from a lineage of Buddhist rice paddy farmers. Her poems have been published in juried anthologies and the Amethyst Review. She has received fellowships from the San Francisco Writers Grotto Rooted & Written Program and the ARTogether Mentorship Hub for Literary Artists. Tracy has served two terms on the board of directors for the Marin Poetry Center. She was a county judge for Poetry Out Loud and is delighted and honored to be of service as a judge for the inaugural Marin County Youth Poet Laureate program.


We are grateful for the support of our sponsors. 


Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş, YPL Coordinator 

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