Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Program

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County will follow the lead of the nation in acknowledging a student who has achieved excellence in poetry, allowing them to be a leader for the “Culture Coast” region in raising the profile of poetry and developing its audience. 

Upcoming  Important Dates

Information Session & Application Workshop (In-Person):

Thursday, August 25, 2022 from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Arts Alliance Headquarters at Center for Arts and Humanity, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, 34236 REGISTER HERE

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM, William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library, 300 Nokomis Ave S, Venice, FL 34285 REGISTER HERE

Information Session & Application Workshop (Virtual via Zoom):

Friday, September 9, 2022 from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM REGISTER HERE

Specifics 

  • This student should be between the ages of 13 and 19. 
  • They must be a county resident of Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto or Charlotte County, who expects to remain in the county between September of 2022 and August of 2023.
  • They should also have demonstrated their commitment to literary arts and community engagement through participation in volunteer and community service, clubs, after school activities, and extra academic activities. 
  • The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County will administer this program as a regional partner of Urban Word. 
  • The Youth Poet Laureate will serve a one year term and is expected to participate in at least four public functions. 
  • The Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $500 stipend, embark on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literary arts and youth expression and an anthology that includes their work and that of other finalists. 

Procedure 

  • Application must be submitted by September 30, 2022 by 5:00 PM EST.
  • Applications can be sent by mail to: Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County – Youth Poet Laureate Submission, 1226 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 
  • We can mail an application to individuals upon request. Please email education@sarasotaarts.org to request. 
  • With the application, three of the student’s poems must be submitted, totaling no more than six pages. 
  • For finalists, an adult sponsor will be required to provide a letter of support. 
  • A committee of respected local poets will review applications and choose finalists. 
  • Finalists will be asked to attend a judging session so that their ability to present their poems effectively (as well as writing good poems) can be assessed. 
  • The winner will be announced in October/November 2022. 

For more information, please contact: education@sarasotaarts.org

Click here to download the Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Guidelines

​Click here to download the Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Application

About the Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Program 

The Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, and human relations, diversity and social justice across Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties.   

The laureateship is an honorary position held by an emerging poet between the ages of 13 and 19 who is a Sarasota county or surrounding county resident with an interest to be involved in the literary arts community, in volunteer and community service, and in clubs, sports, or other co-curricular activities.

Role in the Community

Each Youth Poet Laureate serves a one-year term of service, during which they promote a wide range of literary arts and participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities throughout the region. They represent and celebrate the diversity and history, and vision of the youth, in the region. During their term, each Youth Poet Laureate is actively involved with local colleges and high schools, and helps to create or facilitate workshops and readings that will bring them into contact with students of all ages, and with the public in a variety of contexts. Through various activities, they encourage community members to develop their own creative interests.

Youth Poet Laureate Ambassadors

The Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Ambassadors serve alongside the Youth Poet Laureate to advance and promote literary arts and humanities in the region. They are fellow emerging poets who have been nominated for Youth Poet Laureate candidacy.

Naming of the Laureate

Each year the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County accepts submissions from talented Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte County writers to be considered for the region’s top literary honor for youth. We convene a Youth Poetry Laureate Committee, which is broadly representative of the regions literary community, to review submissions and recommend candidates for consideration.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County makes the final appointment of the Youth Poet Laureate, who earns a $500 stipend and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literary arts and youth expression. They also qualify to be selected as the National Youth Poet Laureate.

Partnering Sponsors:

For more information, please contact: education@sarasotaarts.org