Santa Cruz Public Libraries, in partnership with Urban Word, celebrates local youth poets with the opportunity to serve as the Santa Cruz County Youth Poet Laureate. Youth poets will exhibit a commitment to artistic excellence, civic engagement and social justice. The Santa Cruz County Youth Poet Laureate will serve a one-year term and participate in several engagements throughout the year.
Application Process - Now Accepting Applications!
You are eligible to apply if:
- you live in Santa Cruz County
- you are between the ages of 13 and 18 on the day the application is due
- you are available to serve as Laureate for the program year, which means that you will live locally the whole year (April 2024 - April 2025).
The Youth Poet Laureate acts as an advocate and county ambassador for poetry, social action and civic engagement. They will champion their own poetic practice while also encouraging their peers to take part in the artform through readings, workshops and appearances at events and engagements throughout the county.
Youth poets will submit five (5) original poems along with other material to a panel of local judges. Each finalist will be asked to read one of their poems in person for the judges.
All finalists will receive a $100 cash honorarium and the Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $500 cash honorarium. All finalist will also receive a gift card donated by Two Birds Books.
Apply Now - Deadline Feb. 1, 2024
Please fill out all required sections in section one, and be ready to upload your poems (5) and your resumé/brag sheet (template available here).
- August 2023: Application Portal Opens (application available here)
- Feb 1, 2024: Application Deadline
- March 31st, 2024: Finalists Announced
- April 10, 2024 6-8pm: Celebration of finalists and announcement of inaugural Santa Cruz County Youth Poet Laureate at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Fall 2023 Workshops
All workshops are from 4-5pm. Any County resident ages 13-18 can participate in any or all workshops.
- October 10: Downtown SC Public Library, Generative Poetry Workshop
- October 17: Felton Public Library, Generative Poetry Workshop
- October 25: Watsonville Public Library, Generative Poetry Workshop (bilingual)
- November 7: Capitola Public Library, Crafting a Resume/Honest Brag sheet
- November 14: Capitola Public Library, Saying It Out Loud: Reading Poetry to an Audience
- December 5: Downtown SC Public Library, Generative Poetry Workshop
- January 16: Downtown SC Public Library, Putting a Poetry Portfolio Together
- Week of January 22 Watsonville Public Library, Putting a Poetry Portfolio Together
Please feel free to email Farnaz Fatemi, email@example.com
*If you’re a teacher and you want to arrange a fall class visit about the Santa Cruz County Youth Poet Laureate, please feel free to reach out to Farnaz.*