ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (April 15, 2021) — In conjunction with April’s National Poetry Month, OC Public Libraries is partnering with LibroMobile Arts Co-Op to launch the inaugural OC Poet Laureate (OC-PL) and OC Youth Poet Laureate (OCYPL) programs in Orange County. Aiming to reflect regional demographics including approximately 60% people of color, these programs are intended to inspire and promote cultural connections and community partnerships by celebrating local poets using their powerful voices to impact social change.
The goals of the OC-PL program are to inspire residents through transformative community engagement and the positive impact of poetry; provide opportunities to engage in literary arts and write or perform poetry; bring poetry to a variety of settings in the community; and ultimately support a civic and literary leader for generations to come.
In partnership with the National Youth Poet Laureate Program and Urban Word, the OCYPL program is a countywide literacy effort celebrating poetry and connecting young writers to far-reaching opportunities. Each year Orange County writers (ages 13-19) can apply to join a community of talented young poets. A Laureate is selected and earns an honorarium that can be applied as an educational scholarship or toward additional arts programming. All Finalists are invited to serve as ambassadors alongside the Laureate for literacy, arts, and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances, projects, and peer support.
One OC Poet Laureate and one OC Youth Poet Laureate will be selected for the 2021-2022 program year. Inaugural applications for the OC-PL and OCYPL programs will open on April 15, 2021 and be accepted through July 15, 2021. Announcement of the 2021-2022 OC Poet Laureate Appointments will be made on August 15, 2021.
For more information about the OC-PL and OCYPL literary programs including eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit libromobile.com/ocpoetlaureates.
OC Public Libraries is a network of 32 community libraries across Orange County, California. With over 100 years of commitment to its residents, OC Public Libraries offers millions of resources to contribute to the quality of life. The library aims to empower and enrich the community with access to books, eBooks, databases, literacy services, programming, and more. Learn more at ocpl.org.
LibroMobile is a literary project established in Santa Ana, California—it integrates literature, visual exhibits, year-round creative workshops, and live readings. LibroMobile Arts Co-Op is a collective of community organizers, cultural producers, and local artists working collaboratively to form a workers’ cooperative. Learn more at libromobile.com.
The National Youth Poet Laureate Program was founded in 2008 and identifies and celebrates teen poets who exhibit a commitment to artistic excellence, civic engagement, youth leadership, and social justice. The National Youth Poet Laureate Program works with local youth literary arts organizations across the United States to identify and celebrate exceptional youth poets who use their voices to inspire change. Learn more at youthlaureate.org.
Urban Word is an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization that collaborates with local youth literary arts organizations across the country to provide uncensored platforms for youth voice. It is championed by the leading national literary organizations, including the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, PEN Center USA, Cave Canem, and the Library of Congress. Learn more at urbanwordnyc.org.