Pikes Peak Youth Poet Laureate
Accepting new applicants
through February 25th, 2022
The Pikes Peak Youth Poet Laureate Project is a program of Hear Here Poetry in community partnership with the Pikes Peak Library District and championed by Urban Word, NYC.
About the Youth Poet Laureate Program
Founded in New York City in 2008 by Urban Word NYC, the Youth Poet Laureate program and movement honors and celebrates city’s most exceptional youth poets, who not only have a commitment to writing and literature, but who also have a track record of leadership, civic and community engagement, social justice, youth leadership and extra-curricular participation. We created this platform to honor these young poet-leaders and have committed each city to identifying youth poet laureates who uphold these program values.
What we are looking for in a YPL
We seek applications from young people who demonstrate both artistic excellence in poetry, and a commitment to civic engagement and social justice (as exemplified through a CV). We welcome poets of all creative dispositions and aesthetics and of all backgrounds to apply. We want the YPL program to reflect the diversity of voices and experiences in the world. Traditionally, Youth Poet Laureates are students who have matriculated through writing programs, have achieved various levels of success, and are embedded in the youth leadership of various organizations.
The Pikes Peak Youth Poet Laureate
- All applicants must be between the ages of 13-19 years old at the time of application submission.
- Applicant must be a full time resident of El Paso or Teller Counties, or area designated in the Pikes Peak Region.
- The term of service is from April, 2022 through April, 2023.
- All participating poets will submit a portfolio of 5 poems and a resume/CV/civic engagement "brag sheet". We have provided CV template examples at the bottom of this page which essentially ask the poet to list accomplishments and public service; as poets will be judged on the quality of their writing, as well as their accomplishments (as presented through the CV).
- One of the poems submitted can be written to the theme of "Everyday Bravery" -- the unexpected and ordinary ways we show up every day, especially through the current events of our 2021-2022 world. This is not a requirement, but is suggested as this is a theme the winner will be working with through the year in partnership with the PPLD.
- The YPL will be awarded a $1,000 stipend for their work during their term and will have their poetry published in the National YPL Anthology, of which they will receive 5 copies.
- All applicants must be able to meet the requirements of the position to be a civic and literary arts ambassador for the Pikes Peak Region by speaking, performing, and being a public servant in relevant contexts.
- Any justice involved youth or those with criminal justice histories must have their cases closed, not be currently in legal proceedings, or detained at the time of application.
What we mean by Civic Engagement and Social Justice
We seek applications from young people who are committed to the growth and development of their local communities. By “Civic Engagement,” we mean any regular activity, formally or informally sponsored, whereby the YPL applicant can strengthen and promote the quality of life in his or her community or school. By “Social Justice,” we mean any examples of praxis, commitment to equity and inclusiveness, activism and the fundamental right of youth to be outspoken. Examples include efforts in political activism, organizing, school participation, and volunteerism, as well as various educational and artistic initiatives. We require the submission of a CV, which is judged and scored, to add value to the mission and goals of this program.
What we mean by Literary Excellence
We seek applications from young people who excel in the literary arts, using poetry as a tool not only for self-expression but civic engagement as well. We define literary excellence as any literary work that employs the tools of poetic craft--music, image, metaphor and simile, traditional forms (sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, and so on)—combined with a passionate artistic vision concerned, thematically, with matters of the heart, spirit, and mind; politics; identity; family and relationships; history; love in its many iterations; other art forms; or any aspect of the human experience, often at the intersection of any of the aforementioned, in order to explore and deepen our common humanity. Literary excellence is assessed via the poetry portfolio submission, and also merited in the CV with any history of awards/accolades for writing.
Info Sessions/CV Workshop
Saturday, January 29th, 2022 @ 4 PPLD locations
9:00 am -- Manitou Library
10:30 am -- Sand Creek Library
1:30 pm -- Penrose Library
4:00 pm -- East Library
Find sample CVs and a template here. On January 8th there will be three workshops on building your application, one at Penrose Library, one at Library 21C, and one at Sand Creek Library!
Sample Judging Rubric
This is an example of how the applicants will be judged on their CV and five poetry submissions. Check here for your guidelines!
Apply here to be the first Pikes Peak Youth Poet Laureate! This is a PAID position which will be mentored by Hear Here Poetry and Ashley Cornelius, the current Pikes Peak Poet Laureate.