2024 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Application Available

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 20, 2023 at 11:59 PM CT.

Applicants who advance will perform at a semifinal round on November 16 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 in November and the State of the Word in December.

Applications are now CLOSED for the 2024 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate! Sign up for our email list to receive updates for this year’s program or for alerts on next year’s application process.

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