The Youth Poet Laureate Award Ceremony for 2013 was held on August 2nd, 6:30 pm. Obasi Davis was announced as the Poet Laureate.
The ceremony is the culmination of a yearlong program organized by the Oakland Public Library in partnership with Youth Speaks, and more than a dozen community partners including event host I-SEEED, an Oakland-based nonprofit nationally recognized for creating sustainable cities and schools. Oakland Indie Award Winner Jazz Monique Hudson was the master of ceremonies.
All eight finalists in the contest performed before this year's winner was announced in front of City officials and Oakland's preeminent artists, educators, scholars, and culture shapers.
The eventual winner was determined by a panel of celebrity judges, including California's Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, Oakland-born poet and playwright Chinaka Hodge, performer Raphael Cohen, and former Youth Poet Laureate Stephanie Yun, who won the competition in 2012.
The winner is honored with a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to officially represent his/her community through poetry, media, and public appearances.
There were 8 finalists. They attend five different schools and hail from seven different zip codes:
- Olivia Hoffman, 16, Oakland School for the Arts
- Maya Bello, 16, Holy Names High School
- Obasi Davis, 17, Berkeley High School
- Robert Paige, 18, Oakland Technical High School
- Mina Jameson, 15, Oakland School for the Arts
- Francesca Paris, 16, Head-Royce School
- Cindy Huey, 17, Oakland Technical High School
- Kai Smith, 15, Oakland School for the Arts
For information, please contact Amy Sonnie, Teen Outreach Librarian, at 238-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org