Youth Poet Laureate 2017

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What You Should Know

Program Details

The Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC and UrbArts with support from the 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 August and September, UrbArts will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists ages 14-19 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 twelve finalists, named Poet Ambassadors, with one teen honored as the Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate during the commencement ceremony at the University City Public Library on Oct 20th, 6 pm during the 3rd annual St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival.

Along with winning the prestigious title of Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also win a book deal to publish their first collection of poems, as well as a tour. 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. Local and national partners include the Gateway Writing Project, the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, the Academy of American Poets, and Poetry Society of America.

2017 Submission Guidelines
  • 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 14-19 years old.
  • Starting August 21, 2017, please submit 5 original poems / raps / performances (and / or YouTube Links to your poems).
  • 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.
  • ONCE you are ready, you can submit your documents via email to [email protected] or online at Your entire application is due September 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm. The 2017 Saint Louis Youth Poet Laureate will win a book deal, conduct a reading tour and make special appearances throughout Saint Louis metropolitan area for one (1) year, beginning with the remainder of the 3rd Annual Brick City Poetry Festival, Oct 21st & 22nd.