Poet Laureate

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This page is for the 2016 DC Youth Poet Laureate application. For the 2018 DC Youth Poet Laureate application follow this link.

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CALLING ALL POETS, SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS, EMCEES, AND WRITERS

The Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic & community engagement, poetry & performance, human relations, diversity and education across Washington DC metro area. The Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC and Words Beats & Life (WBL) with support from Busboys and Poets, The DC Public Libraries, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

REPRESENT YOUR CITY AS THE FIRST EVER DC YOUTH POET LAUREATE

During the months of September, October and November of 2015, Words Beats & Life, Inc. will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists ages 14-19 from across Washington DC metro area who are interested in representing Washington DC as the inaugural Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate. A group of esteemed judges will choose 12 Finalists, all given the distinction of Washington DC Youth Poet Ambassador, and we will select one teen to be honored with the title of Washington.

PUBLISH YOUR FIRST BOOK
PERFORM FOR THOUSANDS
TOUR THE DC METRO AREA

Along with the prestigious title of Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will win a book deal from Penmanship Books to publish their first collection of poems, as well as a library tour. The Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate and Washington DC Poet Ambassadors will have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and love of Washington DC at numerous events across the DC Metro Area.
Urban Word and our other partners recognize the youth voice and community engagement as vital for empowering young people to affect positive changes in their communities and beyond. Local and national partners include Youth Speaks, Busboys and Poets, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the DC Public Libraries. This year’s Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate Contest theme is EDUCATION.

ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION DETAILS

Applicants must be between the ages of 14-19 years old and current residence of the DC Metro Area.
Starting September 18th, 2015, please submit 5 original poems / raps / performances (and / or YouTube Links to your poems).
At least one poem, rap, or performance must address this year’s theme of education.
Include a RESUME that has your name, address, phone # and email.
You may choose to include a short cover letter detailing, your accomplishments, community service, after school programs, volunteer experiences, and awards.

Submit your application and documents using the online registration form available on this page.

Your entire application is due October 23rd 2015 @11:59 PM. INCOMPLETE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE JUDGED.

Application period closed
The Application period for the Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate Program is now closed.

*Questions? Email with the subject YPLAPP.

 

ESTEEMED JUDGES

Patrick “Black Picasso” Washington

Patrick Washington

Sage Xaxua Morgan-Hubbard

Sage Xaxua Morgan-Hubbard

Raquel 'RA' Brown

Raquel ‘RA’ Brown

Bomani Armah

Bomani Armah

Pages Matam

Pages Matam

Holly Bass

Holly Bass

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds

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