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Boston Youth Poet Laureate

The Youth Poet Laureate works with the City's Poet Laureate to raise the status of poetry in Boston.


Our Youth Poet Laureate program is aligned with the work of the Boston Poet Laureate program. The City established the Poet Laureate program in 2008 to highlight literary arts and promote poetry. 

The Youth Poet Laureate acts as an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. They create a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events. The mission of the Youth Poet Laureate is to raise the status of poetry in the everyday lives of Bostonians. 

Alondra Bobadilla was selected as Boston's first-ever Youth Poet Laureate in January 2020. The City named Anjalequa Birkett as Boston's second Youth Poet Laureate in February 2022. The current Youth Poet Laureate, Parker-Vincent Alva, was announced in January 2024.

Eligibility and duties

Youth Poet Laureate expectations:
  • Present appropriate works at civic events and attend official functions as a literary ambassador.
  • Enhance current Boston Public School and Boston Public Library poetry programs through engagement and outreach (minimum of four events each year) 
  • Write and publish a short collection of poetry 
  • Act as a resource during National Poetry Month each April
  • Work in harmony with the City of Boston Poet Laureate
  • Represent Boston in local and possibly national Youth Poet Laureate competitions
  • Serve in the role from Jan 2024 until December 2025
Applicants must these requirements:
  • Be 13-19 years of age
  • Have resided in the City of Boston for a minimum of one year prior to nomination
  • Display a strong commitment to the local literary community
  • Be enthusiastic about fulfilling duties and serving in a public facing role
  • Be willing to present work in public and be comfortable with public speaking.
Benefits of the program

The Youth Poet Laureate serves a maximum of two, two-year terms. They will receive:

  • A $1,500 honorarium each year, for a total of $3,000
  • Mentoring from the City of Boston Poet Laureate
  • The opportunity to publish collection of poems, of which The Boston Public Library will purchase a copy of the BYPL’s book for all 26 locations.
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