About Us

The National Youth Poet Laureate program/initiative is a program of Urban Word, an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization, in collaboration with local youth literary arts organizations across the country; and championed by the leading national literary organizations, including the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, PEN Center USA, and Cave Canem.

Our History

In 2008, the award-winning literary arts organization, Urban Word, launched the nation’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate program, in partnership with the NYC Voters Assistance Commission and the NYC Mayor’s Office. Since then, Urban Word has honored five Youth Poet Laureates in New York City, each having released their own debut collections of poetry from Penmanship Books. In 2014, Urban Word partnered with six of the top youth literary arts organizations in Los Angeles to launch the first-ever LA Youth Poet Laureate program, and announced the inaugural Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate. Since then, Urban Word has launched Youth Poet Laureate programs in 35 more cities across the country and counting.

Our Sponsors