Applications Open January 6 for 2023 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program

Applications open to youth 13-18 from Jan. 6 until Feb. 6; Laureate receives a $5,000 college scholarship; Finalists receive a $500 prize

Calling all young Oakland poets!

The Oakland Public Library and an alliance of community partners welcome Oakland poets between the ages of 13-18 to enter into the 2023 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.

Writers of all levels are encouraged to apply.

The Application Deadline is February 6, 2023

  • 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. Each Finalist will receive a $500 prize at the beginning of the program year.
  • Oakland’s twelfth 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 or email us at We are happy to answer questions and support applicants or adults working with applicants.

Oakland’s 2022 Youth Poet Laureate, Nadia Elbgal, states, “It’s a blessing to be part of a program where young voices are truly heard, where youth opinions matter, where we are encouraged to represent our city and build on our art in the process.

Nadia Elbgal, and Kaylan Black, 2022 Oakland Vice Youth Poet Laureate , will join other Laureates and Finalists from current and  previous years in a live performance at Chapter 510 on January 6 at 7pm

Come out and meet them and celebrate the application launch!

The Youth Poet Laureate program is supported by a broad coalition of partner agencies across the Bay Area: Chapter 510, Youth Speaks, 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.

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