Application Open for 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program

Release Date

Thu, 01/02/2020
Image of Oakland Public Library

Oakland, CA – Calling all young Oakland poets! For the ninth year, the Oakland Public Library and an alliance of community partners welcome Oakland poets between the ages of 13-18 to enter into the 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate community. The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program projects the diverse voices and truths of Oakland youth into the city and beyond.

The application deadline is February 3, 2020. Click here to apply.

Every eligible applicant will be invited to enter into a community of young poets and youth advocates.

Finalists will receive opportunities to perform before various Oakland audiences.  

The Laureate will serve as city ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression and receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Interested youth, parents, teachers, and youth advocates can learn more and apply online at For more information call the Oakland Public Library at 510.761.7636.

Oakland’s 2019 Vice Youth Poet Laureate, 17-year-old Eleanor Wikstrom, a senior at Skyline High School states, The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate community has given me the unparalleled opportunity to grow not only as an artist, but as a human being.”

Wikstrom and other Laureates and Finalists from the previous eight years will be performing on January 3, 7 p.m. at Chapter 510’s Department of Make Believe (2301 Telegraph Ave., Oakland).                        

The Youth Poet Laureate program is supported by a broad coalition of partner agencies across the Bay Area: Chapter 510, Write-to-Read and the Alameda County Library.  The Friends of the Oakland Public Library finances the Laureate’s scholarship which is then administered through Scholarship America.

About the Oakland Public Library

The Oakland Public Library is a part of the City of Oakland in California and has been in existence since 1878. Locations include 16 neighborhood branches, a Main Library, a Second Start Adult Literacy Program, the Oakland Tool Lending Library, and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. The Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.