Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Youth Poet Laureate

Home / Youth Poet Laureate

The Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC and UrbArts with support from the St. Louis Public Library, University City Library, Gateway Writing Project, & the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival. The Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, diversity and inclusion, and education across Greater St. Louis.

During the months of September & October, UrbArts will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists ages 13-18 from across Greater St. Louis who are interested in representing metropolitan area as the inaugural Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate. A group of esteemed judges will choose finalists, named Poet Ambassadors, with one teen honored as the Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate during the commencement ceremony at Central Library on Saturday, Nov 9th at 1:00 pm.

Along with winning the prestigious title of Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also win a book deal from UrbArts to publish their first collection of poems, a library tour, and a place in the VerbQuake finals to represent St. Louis at Brave New Voices in 2019. The Saint Louis Poet Laureate and Saint Louis Poet Ambassadors will have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and love of Greater St. Louis at numerous events across the region. Urban Word, UrbArts and our other partners recognize the importance of empowering youth to share their voices and engage in the community to affect positive changes in their communities and beyond.


2018 Saint Louis Submission Guidelines:

  1. Applicants must be residents of Greater St. Louis, which includes St. Louis City and neighboring communities in Missouri and Illinois, and between the ages of 13-18 years old.
  2. Starting August 22, 2018, please submit 5 original poems / raps / performances (and / or YouTube Links to your poems).
  3. Include a RESUME that has your name, address, phone # and email, AS WELL AS detailing all of your accomplishments, community service, after school programs, volunteer experiences and awards. If you prefer to submit online, please visit this page to access the online application.
  4. ONCE you are ready, you can submit your documents via email to [email protected] or online at UrbArts.org. Your entire application is due October 22, 2018. The 2018 Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate will win a book deal from UrbArts, conduct a reading tour and make special appearances throughout Saint Louis metropolitan area for one (1) year.