1st Annual Youth Poet Laureate Program
The Long Beach Public Library and the Arts Council for Long Beach present the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate (LBYPL) program to serve Long Beach youth with year-round literary arts, civic engagement, and performance opportunities.
About the Program
The purpose of the LBYPL program is to not only to develop and cultivate the active voices of Long Beach youth, but to also develop platforms for them to be heard. To this end, a Laureate and a cohort of Poet Ambassadors will be selected to serve as representatives for literacy, arts and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances, mentorship and other projects. Additionally, the Laureate and Poet Ambassadors will each receive a scholarship to further their education. The LBYPL program is supported by Urban Word, a national nonprofit.
The Long Beach Public Library will be presenting four workshops throughout the city in February and March to assist young poets with developing their portfolios, including creating a CV, résumé and artist statement.
Press Release available here.
“Adding to the incredible diversity of arts in Long Beach, the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate Program will give kids an opportunity to express themselves creatively through yet another medium with written and spoken word programs.”
On April 16, 2019, City Council unanimously approved an agenda item, brought forward by Councilmember Rex Richardson and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Jeannine Pearce, Dee Andrews, and Roberto Uranga, that would establish a Youth Poet Laureate program in Long Beach.
“From Langston Hughes to Maya Angelou, our most prolific writers began at an early age,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson. “We are thrilled to be joining the National Poet Laureate movement, now in 41 cities across the country, in creating a platform to promote literacy and creativity, while inspiring and amplifying the voices of our diverse and talented teens.”
During the inaugural year of the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate program, applications will be accepted from talented Long Beach writers to create a citywide community of young poets. Long Beach teens who are leaders, engaged and active in Long Beach are encouraged to apply.
To enter the 2020 Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate contest, you must be:
- a Long Beach resident
- between the ages of 14 and 19 as of March 31, 2020
- available to serve as Laureate for the program year, May 2020 - April 2021
Applications will be judged based on artistic merit, as well as community engagement and leadership.
- Each portfolio should include five original poems, specifically about Long Beach – the City, its natural advantages, resources, enterprises, attractions, climate and facilities or the Long Beach experience;
- CV/Resume (show off any awards, experience, volunteering, activism, community engagement and extra-curricular participation);
- Artist Statement (Introduce yourself - tell us who you are and what poetry means to you. If you advance to the finals, this information will be used to build your bio. 250 words max);
- and parent/guardian information (for participants younger than 18 years old as of March 31, 2020).
What does it mean to be the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate and what is the time commitment?
Every eligible applicant will be invited to enter a community of young poets and youth advocates. The Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate and the Poet Ambassadors will be invited to perform at public events throughout the program year and beyond. The Laureate will be asked to represent Long Beach and its youth at public and private events, as well as to serve as a role model for other youth in the community. The Laureate may be asked to share their experiences with the press and through blogs, videos and social media. The Laureate will have the opportunity to develop their own poet-leader project.
Please use this template to build your CV/resume. Please delete the instructions in purple before submitting this document as part of your application.
Submit your application
Applications will be accepted between February 14, 2020 and March 31, 2020.
Judging will take place in April and up to 15 finalists will be selected to participate in the LBYPL Commencement event. Finalists will be notified no later than April 21, 2020.
We invite the entire Long Beach community to join us on Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 PM in the City Council Chambers for the Commencement. A reception will immediately follow in the Civic Center Plaza.