Applications are now closed. Finalists will be announced in March.
The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate (OYPL) program is an unprecedented citywide effort to celebrate literacy through poetry and connect young writers to far-reaching opportunities.
Book a Poet
Interested in booking a poet for an event or performance? Fill out the Booking Request form:
Note: Booking is handled by OPL's Teen Services Department and dependent on availability.
Please allow up to five business days for a response. Requests that are made at least three weeks in advance are more likely to be filled.
The Laureate represents Oakland and its youth at public and private events and is a model for other youth. They also share their experiences with the press and through blogs, videos, and social media.
The Laureate will have the opportunity to develop their own poet-leader project.
Everyone who applies will be invited to enter into a community of young poets and youth advocates.
You are eligible to apply if:
- you live in Oakland
- are between the ages of 13 and 18 on the day the application is due
- be available to serve as Laureate for the program year, which means that you will live locally the whole year and won't be enrolled in college full-time during the whole year (June - June)
Once the application is live and we are accepting submissions, you'll find it linked on all the OYPL pages on the website.
You can download the paper application as a PDF here now.
Applications for the 2024 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate will be open from January 5 to February 5, 2024.
What have the OYPL poets been up to?
The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate poets have accomplished so much! OYPL members have shared their talents with Oaklanders of all ages, and with people from far beyond Oakland.
Please celebrate their words, their truths, their stories, and all that they've accomplished.
The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is supported by an alliance of community partners representing Oakland’s leading arts, education and community organizations. Scholarship and prize funding is provided by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Scholarship administration and financial, cultural, and social support is provided by Scholarship America.