Youth Poet Laureate Finalists to Appear in Rare Group Performance

Release Date: 
Tue, 07/31/2012



Oakland, CA – The seven finalists in Oakland’s Youth Poet Laureate competition will make a live appearance at the Art & Soul Festival on Saturday, August 4, from 5:00 to 7:00 on the City Center Stage. These talented young poets, having been selected through a highly competitive first round, will read their verse and perform spoken word pieces before a live audience. It is a rare opportunity for the public to appreciate the talents of the city’s best young poetic voices. Acclaimed local authors Chinaka Hodge and Arisa White will emcee the event.

In September, the winner of the competition will be announced, establishing Oakland’s first Youth Poet Laureate. The winner will be honored with a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to officially represent his/her community through poetry, media, and public appearances. The Oakland Public Library, in partnership with Youth Speaks (the country’s leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word performance, education and youth development programs), is staging the competition.

The seven finalists are:

  • Euna Bonovich, age 16, International High School of San Francisco
  • Jose Saldona, age 18, Envision Academy of Arts and Technology
  • Kerby Lynch, age 17, Oakland School for the Arts
  • Robin Levy, age 16, Saint Joseph Notre Dame
  • Stephanie Yun, age 18, Skyline High School
  • Tele'jon Quinn, age 17, MetWest High School
  • Victoria Kupu, age 18, Mills College

Art & Soul Oakland will sizzle this year, packing two full days with art, live music, film projections, culinary vendors and  food trucks, carnival rides and family activities.

For information about Oakland’s Youth Poet competition, please visit or call Amy Sonnie, Teen Outreach Librarian, at

510-238-7233. For information about Oakland Art & Soul, visit