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.
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.
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