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 since 2012, talented Oakland writers (ages 13-18) apply 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. All poets who reach the final round of judging are given opportunities to perform and represent the city and enter a community adults and youth dedicated to Oakland and to empowering youth voices. 

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is run by Oakland Public Library's Teen Services and is supported by an alliance of community partners representing Oakland’s leading arts, education and community organizations. Scholarship funding is provided by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Scholarship administration and academic support is provided by ScholarMatch.

To be eligible:

  • Must be between 13 – 18 years old
  • Must live in Oakland
  • Must be available to serve as Laureate for the program year (usually the following June to June).
    • be living locally through the program year
    • not be enrolled in college full-time during the program year  (Unfortunately, this means most senior high school students are not eligible to apply).    

External Link: &

Oakland Youth Poet Laureate

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