Created in collaboration with Urban Word and the Arts Council for Long Beach, the YPL program aims to nurture and celebrate the voices of young poets through workshops, performances, publication opportunities, and individualized assistance with their YPL application and portfolio.
Through the YPL program, poets ages 13-18 will have the opportunity to attend social justice-themed workshops led by local poets and visual artists; participate in performances in venues throughout the city to bring poetry to a wider audience; and contribute to their communities through projects that meld art, collaboration, and social action into a civic practice. These creative and personal development opportunities aim to provide youth poets with the experience, platform, and confidence needed to make arts-activism a lifelong practice. To make the program more accessible to Long Beach residents, workshops are being held in library branches throughout the city, as well as at the Billie Jean King Main Library. Workshops started in September and will continue through February 2023. Youth poets do not need to attend in order to submit their application and portfolio, but it is encouraged as they are great opportunities to produce poems and meet local working poets. The application period will open in early January 2023 and the Youth Poet Laureate will be named at a public event in April 2023. More information can be found on the YPL page of the LBPL website!!