Youth Poet Laureate Application

The City of Philadelphia seeks a Youth Poet Laureate from among Philadelphia's talented students. Administered by the Free Library of Philadelphia, the position was established to give one exceptional young poet a platform for creative expression and civic engagement through poetry. The Youth Poet Laureate will serve a term from July 2019 through June 2020 and will be:
  • Given the opportunity to serve as a leader and champion of Philadelphia’s youth poetry community
  • Mentored by Philadelphia Poet Laureate Raquel Salas Rivera and the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate
  • Called on to participate in community projects and events that promote poetry, literacy, arts education, and youth advocacy
  • Eligible for a $1,000 stipend to further the Youth Poet Laureate’s education
  • You must be a resident of Philadelphia attending high school at the time of application
  • You may attend a high school outside of Philadelphia or may be homeschooled
  • 2019 graduates are not eligible to apply
  • Please complete the application form below. The five (5) open-ended questions are an opportunity to write about the role of poetry in your life and a vision for what you would like to accomplish as Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate.
  • In addition, applicants are required to submit a sample of their poetic work. Poetry samples may be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment or mailed to the Free Library via US Mail with a printed application. Links to video of original spoken word performance may be submitted in addition to the written poems.
  • The role of Youth Poet Laureate is a civic position and a major commitment. To strengthen the selection process, the application also asks for an adult reference – a teacher, mentor, or community member – with whom we can speak to learn more about you.
  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: Fully completed applications must be submitted online or postmarked to the Free Library by May 27, 2019. 
  • You will be selected based on the commitment to the program demonstrated in your application as well as the strength and promise of your submitted poems.
If you have any questions regarding the Youth Poet Laureate position or the application process, please contact Andrew Nurkin at
The Free Library of Philadelphia reserves the right to accept or reject incomplete or incorrect submissions at their discretion. 

Save & Return

To save your progress and complete this application later, please create a login and click the "Save Progress" button at the end of the form. To access your saved application, simply return to the form and click the login button to the right.

Personal Information

Why You?


Who is an adult who can speak to why you would be a strong candidate for the Youth Poet Laurate?

Sample Poems


By submitting this application you certify that you are willing and able to fulfill the duties of the Youth Poet Laureate, if selected for the position. Poems submitted remain sole property of the applicant. This completed application will be submitted to the Free Library of Philadelphia and reviewed by the Poet Laureate Governing Committee. The committee will select a Laureate and finalists to be announced by July 2019. 
If you would prefer to submit a paper application, please type answers to the information and questions above and mail them with your three typed poems to:
Free Library of Philadelphia 
Attn: Andrew Nurkin 
1901 Vine Street 
Philadelphia, PA  19103
Paper applications must be submitted or postmarked by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2019. (NOTE EXTENDED DEADLINE)