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March 03, 2015

Philly in search of its next youth poet laureate

The Arts Poetry
03032015_Poets @FrankSherlock/Twitter

Current poet laureate Frank Sherlock with current youth poet laureate Soledad Alfaro-Allah

Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) is now accepting applications for Philadelphia’s next youth poet laureate, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced Tuesday. 

The youth poet laureate will have the opportunity to develop his or her talents in poetry, as well as help promote poetry throughout the city. The chosen individual will also work with Philadelphia’s current poet laureate, Frank Sherlock, and the incoming poet laureate, who will be announced in January 2016.

“The City values the power that poetry has in helping young people develop their voices and skills in reading comprehension, writing, and creative self-expression,” Nutter said. “Becoming Youth Poet Laureate is an opportunity for one talented young person to expand their artistic abilities, use their poetry in service to our city, and be an ambassador for the arts among their peers. I believe that by appointing a Youth Poet Laureate for Philadelphia, the City can encourage our children to be interested and engaged in art and culture.”

The youth poet laureate position, open to high-school students living within the city, lasts from June 2015 through May 2016. Since all applicants must be students through their term as youth poet laureate, students graduating in June 2015 are not eligible.

“Being the City’s Youth Poet Laureate has given me many great experiences, which have helped me develop my voice and have strengthened my love for poetry,” said current youth poet laureate Soledad Alfaro-Allah. “I am proud to represent the young poets of my city.”

Applicants must be nominated by an organization or an adult. Applications are administered by OACCE and must be postmarked or submitted online to the Arts Office, City Hall Room 116, by April 10