Austin Youth Poet Laureate Program
Congratulations to Ireland Griffin, Austin's first Youth Poet Laureate!
Ireland Griffin, 17, is a student at Meridian World School, although much of her work is out in the community. In addition to founding Half Empty Magazine, Ireland devotes a lot of energy to volunteering for political campaigns, doing phone-banking, recruitment, and door-to-door canvassing. In 2020, she was a featured speaker at the Women’s March at the Capitol. Most recently, Ireland has written for Grain of Salt Magazine and the Purple Hydrangea Project, which works to destigmatize mental health. We are so proud to name her as the inaugural Austin Youth Poet Laureate.
Congratulations to the 2021 Austin Youth Poet Laureate finalists:
- Caroline Boyle, 13 (Lamar Fine Arts Academy)
- Elijah Kleinman, 18 (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Keana Saberi, 17 (Westwood High School)
- Zachary Suri, 16 (LASA High School)
- Ren Koppel Torres, 17 (Westlake High School)
The Austin Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify and uplift young writers and leaders who are committed to civic & community engagement, poetry & performance, human relations, diversity, social justice and education across Austin.
The Austin Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of the Library Foundation and the National Youth Poet Laureate Program led by Urban Word, with additional support from the Austin Public Library, Creative Learning Initiative, Learn All The Time, and Host Publications.
- Serve as a representative for youth voice and poetry in Austin
- Be celebrated with a celebration in the fall and participate in other readings and performances across the city
- Be published in the National Youth Poet Laureate anthology
- Be eligible to compete in the regional and national Youth Poet Laureate competitions and all national Youth Poet Laureate programming with other youth across the country
- Have the opportunity to publish a chapbook through local press Host Publications