Past Philadelphia Youth Poets Laureate
2020-2021, Cydney Brown
Cydney Brown lives in Philadelphia and is currently a junior at Abington Friends School. She grew to love poetry by reading Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, entering (and winning!) her first slam competition when she was in fifth grade. She runs a mentoring program called GOOD (Girls Overcome Obstacles Daily) that pairs middle and high school girls for mentoring focused on building self-esteem. Cydney is also active in the Girl Scouts and teaches tennis to younger students with Legacy Youth Tennis and Education. She wrote a book of poems entitled Daydreaming and is currently working on another. Her poetry explores the topics of love, self image, and social justice. Cydney wishes to inspire people to stand up for what they believe in and to share her poetry with the world.
2019-2020, Mia Concepcion
Mia is a senior at the Science Leadership Academy. She was born in raised in South Philadelphia and has been an active part of the city's youth poetry slam scene for several years. She is also the published author of a poetry collection from her sophomore year. In her role as Youth Poet Laureate, she aims to engage young artists across Philadelphia with the creation of a poetry anthology, focusing on identity and social change. Mia wishes to use her voice and platform to change the perception of the arts industry, and establish poetry and arts careers as a serious path for the youth of Philly.
2018-2019, Wes Matthews
Wes Matthews was born in Detroit and began writing poetry at age 10. He is a two-time Brave New Voices competitor, a 2016 TEDx speaker, and winner of the 2018 Philly Slam League All-Star Poetry Slam. His work can be found in Detroit Free Press, Eunoia Review, Dreginald magazine, and more. In his role as Youth Poet Laureate, he helped promote poetry as a means of storytelling and social change.
2017-2018, Husnaa Hashim
Husnaa Hashim is a dual-enrolled senior at Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus and the Community College of Philadelphia. Husnaa has competed with the Philly Youth Poetry Movement, performed at various conferences and festivals, and received numerous Scholastic Art and Writing Awards including a National American Voices Medal awarded at Carnegie Hall. Husnaa's work can be found in RookieMag, KidSpirit Online, the Kenyon Young Writers Anthology, the Voices of the East Coast Anthology, and APIARY Magazine's "APIARY 9," among others. She enjoys making flower crowns and spending time with her cat, Maya (Angelou) Luna.