2023 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Application Available

Applications are now open for the 2023 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate!

The YPL program aims to identify young student writers who are committed to civic and community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and youth voice across Nashville. Students ages 13-19 who live in Nashville are eligible for consideration. Applications are due Friday, October 21, 2022 at 11:59 PM CT.

Applicants who advance will perform at a semifinal round on Thursday, November 17 at 4pm. The top three finalists will perform at the State at the Word in December, where one youth will be honored with the title of Nashville Youth Poet Laureate.

The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of the Office of the Mayor, Southern Word, Metro Human Relations Commission, Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, in partnership with Urban Word, and supported by the PEN Center USA, the Academy of American Poets, and the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

To Apply:

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 13 – 19 years old. They must attend or have attended a Nashville high school.
  • Submit 3 original poems/raps/performances as word documents or video links. At least one of the submissions must address the themes of Human Relations, Diversity, and Positive Social Change.
  • Include a RESUME that has your name, address, phone #, and e-mail; and details all of your accomplishments, community service, after school programs, volunteer experiences, and awards.
  • Please EMAIL any documents you are unable to upload to info@southernword.org.
  • To ensure a range of applicants, only two poets from a school will be permitted to participate in the semifinals and only one poet per school will participate in the finals.
  • If selected, you must be available to perform at the semifinals on November 18 and the State of the Word in December.

The Application is Now Closed. Sign up for our email list to receive information on events and updates on the Nashville Youth Poet Laureate program.

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