Youth Poet Laureate, 2021-22

Info on the Youth Poet Laureate Program

Background on the Youth Laureate Program
A Partnership between Urban Word, California Poets in the Schools and the Arts Council of Mendocino County, this opportunity is designed to honor young writers and leaders, between the ages of 13-19, who are committed to making a civic impact through community engagement utilizing the power of their written and spoken words.  We strongly believe that when we honor young people and give them this kind of office, the community is more likely to listen to what they have to say.  California Poets in the Schools already initiated a Youth Poet Laureate Program in Ventura County and so we have a roadmap for how to get this done well in Mendocino County and beyond.

·      You can read more about our success in Ventura County here:

·      And about the National Youth Poet Laureate Program here:


Nomination & Selection Process

Mendocino Poets in the Schools and the Arts Council of Mendocino County seek applications for the position of Mendocino County Youth Poet Laureate. The person selected will strive to advance awareness of and appreciation for literary arts and humanities within Mendocino county. As both a resident and emerging poet, the Youth Poet Laureate shall represent and celebrate the diversity and vision of the youth in Mendocino county. As a representative of the county’s literary community, the Youth Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote a wide range of literary arts within the county and shall actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities throughout the county at various times in his or her term of service.


Term of Service

The Youth Poet Laureate of Mendocino County is an honorary position. The individual appointed will serve a one-year term, commencing in December 2021. Nearing the end of the Youth Poet Laureate’s term and prior to initiating the next nomination process, the YP Laureate Committee may extend an invitation to the sitting Youth Poet Laureate to serve a second consecutive term. The Youth Poet Laureate will have thirty days to respond. If they elect not to accept the Arts Council’s invitation, the Poet Laureate must wait an intervening term (1 year) prior to being re-nominated.



The Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per term, publication in a national youth anthology, and a professionally published chapbook (if desired).


Term Expectations

As a condition of appointment, the Youth Poet Laureate will participate in a minimum of four public functions throughout the one-year term of service.  This can include, but is not limited to, the Youth Poet Laureate involvement with local colleges and high schools; they can endeavor to create or facilitate virtual workshops and readings that will bring the Youth Poet Laureate into contact with students of all ages, and the public in a variety of contexts. To the extent possible, the Youth Poet Laureate will work with the Point Arena and Ukiah Poet Laureates to establish activities/programs to coincide with their term of service to promote community awareness of the literary arts, and to encourage community members to develop their own creative interests.


Who May Be Nominated

Eligible nominees must meet the following requirements:

     Be a current resident of the county of Mendocino

     Be a youth poet who meets the selection criteria listed below

Selection Criteria

     Must be between the ages of 13 and 19

     An established presence and history of involvement in the Mendocino county literary arts community, volunteer and community service, and clubs, sports, afterschool activities and extra academic activities


Who May Nominate or Apply

Mendocino County Youth Poet Laureate nominations or applications may come from any organization or individual. 


The Review and Selection Process

The Youth Poetry Laureate Committee shall review the nomination, application materials and candidate poets, and recommend one or more for consideration by the Mendocino County Poet Laureate Committee which includes county school, arts council and poet community. This committee will make the final appointment of the Youth Poet Laureate. The Committee may seek additional information or clarification from nominees or applicants once respective poet’s materials have been submitted, and may conduct interviews of some or all candidates before making its recommendations. Please send resume/CV with up to 3 poems (no more than 10 pages) attached and/or YouTube links to readings and performances of your original work. The Mendocino County Youth Poet Laureate will be announced at a public (in person or virtual to be determined) poetry event.


The Youth Poet Laureate Committee

The Youth Poet Laureate Committee is established by the broadly represent the Mendocino County literary community. Former Youth Poet Laureates shall be invited to serve on the Youth Poet Laureate Committee whenever feasible. A member of the Board of the Mendocino County Arts Council will serve as part of the committee. The Youth Poet Laureate Committee shall endeavor to serve as a support group to help facilitate projects the Youth Poet Laureate may want to pursue.


Application Deadline

Download application materials at the top of the page

Completed applications should be emailed to If email is not possible, mailed nominations must be postmarked on or before the stated deadline: December 1, 2021. (Materials submitted will not be returned.)