National Youth Poet Laureate Convocation featuring Jacqueline Woodson


Urban Word NYC, an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization, created The National Youth Poet Laureate program in collaboration with local youth literary arts organizations across the country. Leading national literary organizations, including the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, PEN Center USA, and Cave Canem champion the work of the National Youth Poet Laureate initiative. Jacqueline Woodson, author of the National Book Award-winning memoir in verse Brown Girl Dreaming, was named Young People’s Poet Laureate in 2015.

Hajjar Baban is currently serving as the Detroit Youth Poet Laureate. She attends the University of Wisconsin–Madison through the First Wave scholarship, edits poetry for UNDRSCR, and has performed in poetry slams nationwide. A Pakistani-born Afghan Kurdish poet, her work has been published by Detroit Free Press, InsideOut, Albion College, and Creative Communications.

Nkosi Nkululeko is the 2016 New York City Youth Poet Laureate. He has received fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole as well as nominations for the Independent Best American Poetry award and the Pushcart Prize. His work can be found in [PANK] Magazine, VINYL, No Tokens, decomP, and other publications.

Andrew White is Houston’s first Youth Poet Laureate, and the Youth Ambassador of Spoken Word for the Southwest. He attends New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts as a Dramatic Writing major. His work has appeared in Poetry magazine, Octopus Ink, InPrint Magazine, and the Houston Chronicle.

Amanda Gorman was named Los Angeles’ first Youth Poet Laureate in 2014 and is currently the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the West. She is the founder and executive director of the literacy and writing nonprofit One Pen One Page. Her book, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, was released last year. Her writing appears in The Wall Street Journal, Elle, The Huffington Post, and ASOS Mag.

Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay served as Nashville’s first Youth Poet Laureate in 2015 and was named Southeast Regional Youth Poet Laureate in 2016. Her book, this is our war, was published in 2015. Her work appears in Nashville Arts Magazine, The Tennessean, Chapter 16, and on the Poetry Society of America website.

The National Youth Poet Laureate Program works with cities and states across the country to celebrate young poets who exhibit a commitment to artistic excellence and social justice. For more information about this program, visit www.youthlaureate.org.

Cosponsored with Urban Word NYC

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Our events are first come, first served and capacity is limited. We only allow late admittance during a pre-determined program break.


Friday, March 10, 2017, 1:00 PM
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6:00 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission