There’s something about writing poetry that sparks the need to shape the community around us. It inspires us to engage with others, it encourages reflection—and it incites change. Maybe conveying some larger truth within a few words pushes us to serve something greater than ourselves. Add to this alchemy the passion of a young mind, and the world’s got magic in its hands. This is why our city has a Youth Poet Laureate. And this, young poets, is why Philadelphia needs you!
Being this city’s Youth Poet Laureate means you’ll serve as a leader in Philadelphia’s young artistic community. You’ll grow as a writer and a community advocate through mentorship by Philadelphia’s Poet Laurate, the phenomenal Raquel Salas Rivera. You’ll do meaningful community projects and take part in impactful events around the city—a literary VIP with a platform to promote poetry like no one else. You’ll even have a shot at being named the National Youth Poet Laureate!
The 2018 Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate, Husnaa Hashim, says, "My experience as Youth Poet Laureate has opened my life and career as a writer up to innumerable opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. I have traveled to various corners and crevices of the city sharing my poetry, and facilitating workshops for youth on poetry as a survival mechanism. I have been mentored by, and shared space with, the most renowned artists and writers in Philadelphia. But most importantly, I have come to truly regard Philadelphia as home."
Applications for the next Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurate are steadily coming in, but we want to read yours: