Youth Poet Laureate Program

Photos of Youth Poets

Applications for the 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program have closed.

The 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate will be announced in June!

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists:

  • Chiana Griswa, age 16
  • Greer Nakadegawa-Lee, age 15
  • Isabel Jackson, age 14
  • Jordan Tisnado, age 18
  • Michelle Arango, age 17
  • Siara Edmond, age 15  

Get to Know Oakland's 2019 Youth Poet Laureate: Samuel Getachew! 

Samuel Getachew is a 16-year-old student at Oakland Technical High School.  See him perform one of his poems here. Read more about him here.

Photo of Samuel Getachew

About the Program

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is an unprecedented citywide effort to celebrate literacy through poetry and connect young writers to far-reaching opportunities. Each year we accept applications from talented Oakland writers (ages 13-18) to join a community of young poets. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship. The Laureate will, and all the Finalists are invited to, serve as ambassadors for literacy, arts and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances, projects, and peer support. Starting in 2020, every applicant will be invited to stay in connection with the OYPL community.   

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is supported by an alliance of community partners representing Oakland’s leading arts, education and community organizations. Scholarship funding is provided by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Scholarship administration and financial, cultural, and social support is provided by Scholarship America.

Community Partners: Write-to-Read and Alameda County Library, Chapter 510, and the Oakland Museum of California  with support from Urban Word.

To book the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate for a performance or workshop please fill out the booking request form.
For press inquiries, contact or (510)761-POEM (7636).
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