Young People's Poet Laureate

Other Information

What is a Young People’s Poet Laureate?

Awarded by the Poetry Foundation for a two-year tenure, the young people’s poet laureate aims to raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.

Jacqueline's Picks
  • Book Pick
    By Jacqueline Woodson
    Simon and Schuster (2012)

    February marks the beginning of Black History Month. It’s also the month in which I was born. The book I’ve chosen, as a birthday present to myself (!!) and a celebration of what it means to be a person of color in this country is my memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. This is the first time I’ve chosen one of my own books. As my time as Young People’s Poet Laureate comes to an end later this year, I’m thinking about all that I’ve learned about writing in my life and in my two years as YPPL. Brown Girl Dreaming is a celebration of both writing—and dreaming.

  • Poem Pick

    This poem comes from the same book I’ve chosen to highlight. You’ll find a number of poems on the Poetry Foundation website from my memoir, but here is the one that both celebrates my birth and also gives a little bit of our country’s history and the reason behind the need for a month to celebrate African American History.

  • poem

    I am born on a Tuesday at University Hospital
    Columbus, Ohio,
    USA—
    a country caught
     
    between Black and White.
     
    I am born not long from the time
    or far from the place
    where
    my great-great-grandparents
    worked the deep rich land
    unfree
    dawn till dusk
    unpaid
    drank cool water from scooped-out gourds
    looked up and...

    By Jacqueline Woodson
  • Featured Video

    The First Lady honored the 2015 class of the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the nation’s highest honor for youth poets. This award celebrates the exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise of this generation of leaders.

Jacqueline's Events
  • February 22, 2017
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free Admission