Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate Program



Calling all poets, spoken word artists and emcees: win a chance to represent your community as the 2024-2025 Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate!

The Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify youth writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, social justice, radical inclusion and education across the region.

The Ypsi Youth Poet Laureate is a program in partnership between the Ypsilanti Arts Commision, Ypsilanti District Library and Urban Word NYC. During the months of October-December, we will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists from across Ypsilanti who are interested in representing Ypsilanti as the inaugural Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate. A group of esteemed judges will select one teen to be honored with the title of Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate. All of the finalists and the Poet Laureate will be honored at the Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate Commencement Performance in the Spring at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

Along with the prestigious title of Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also receive:
$500 cash prize
$500 to create a social justice poetry project
Press kit (headshots, bio, portfolio)
Performance opportunities

The Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate and finalists will have numerous platforms to share their powerful voices and leadership at future events. We recognize that youth voices and community engagement are vital for empowering young people to effect positive changes in their communities and beyond.


Applicants must be from the ages of 13-19 and current residents of Ypsilanti. Applicants must be able to commit to staying local and being available for meetings, performances, etc for their entire term (May 2024-May 2025.)

Submit 5 original poems and responses to the questions in the google form above. If you have questions, contact Ciatta Tucker.

Application deadline: January 15, 2024

Winners announced: March 1, 2024

Submit Here. 

Headshot of Ciatta Tucker

Program Director: Ciatta Tucker

Ciatta Tucker is the Program Director of the Ypsilanti Youth Poet Laureate Program. Ciatta was also a member and staff of a local youth arts activism program called Staying Power, the Ann Arbor/Ypsi Youth Poetry slam champion in 2019 and the runner up in the Ann Arbor Youth Poet Laureate competition in 2020. Her work centers around blackness, social justice, and the world around me. Ciatta's hobbies include reading, writing poetry, participating in activist spaces, and music production.

Partners: Ypsilanti District Library, Blackstone Bookstore, Ypsi Writes, Bridge Community Cafe, Ozone House, Telling It

Community Partner logos - Bridge, BlackStone, Telling it, ozone house, ypsiwrites, urban word nyc