Meet the Seven Amazing 2021 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists

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 submissions from talented Oakland writers (ages 13-18) to be considered for the city’s top literary honor. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression.


It's been another difficult year. Yet in our tenth year, through it all, the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program has not only continued to operate, but we have thrived, thanks to the young poets who make up our community.

Powerful voices only grow more urgent when the world is uncertain, complicated, and hard. We are glad to be able to bring you these amazing young poets, our seven 2021 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists. 

Please join us live on Facebook on Friday, June 4th, 2021 at 7PM to hear performances from all of our Finalists and to find out who our next Youth Poet Laureate is!

Meanwhile, every few days leading up to the event we'll be introducing a Finalist. Keep an eye on this space to meet all of these incredible young poets.

Meet 16-year-old Anna Chard

Anna Chard in conversation with Greer Nakadegawa-Lee


Meet 15-year-old Dara Kashayar

Dara Kashayar in conversation with Tova Ricardo.


Meet 15-year-old Kaylan Black

Kaylan Black in conversation with Eleanor Wikstrom


Meet 17-year-old Maya Looney

Maya Looney in conversation with Lucy Flattery-Vickness


Meet 15-year-old Myra Estrada

Myra Estrada in conversation with Monique Jonath


Meet 17-year old Nadia Elbgal

Nadia Elbgal in conversation with Hayden Renato


Meet 17-year-old Siara Edmond

Siara Edmond in conversation with Chiana Griswa