New Round of Youth Poet Laureate Applications Open

The Lake County Arts Council and Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado launched the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Program in spring of 2022. Due to a limited number of submitted applications, a new application period has opened in search of Lake County’s first Youth Poet Laureate!

Youth between the ages of 13-19 who live in Lake County, write poetry, and attend any public, homeschool, alternative, or independent school are eligible to apply. Applicants must reside in and attend school in Lake County for the entirety of the program’s one-year term. The application process will include the submission of a poetry portfolio, a resume to include any school accomplishments, community work, and artistic and personal accomplishments, and a brief artist statement.

The adult Lake County Poet Laureate program was inducted in 1998 and has successfully appointed eleven poets laureate between 1998 and 2020. Inspired by the non-stop momentum of youth poetry in the United States, LCAC and Guardado wanted Lake County to become part of the movement by creating the first Youth Poet Laureate program of the county. They have also partnered with Urban Word NYC, host of the National Youth Poet Laureate program, to both connect Lake County to partners across the country and for the first Youth Poet Laureate to have access to a wide array of opportunities offered by Urban Word NYC; including access to an annual retreat, workshops, leadership training, bi-monthly seminars for writing and professional development, be featured in an annual anthology, and have access to opportunities to apply for regional and national Youth Poet Laureate positions.

Urban Word NYC celebrates the nation’s top poets who are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement, and social impact. Founded in New York City in 2008, the Youth Poet Laureate Program partners with local and national literary arts organizations across the country to elevate youth voices at the forefront of social change. Program partners and supporters include the Academy of American Poets, the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

A Youth Poet Laureate uses their voice to inspire change through poetry and promotes other youth voices. They can make an impact in the community with civic engagement and by celebrating the literary arts. They will be recognized for their work and represent Lake County youth for a one-year term. They can host poetry readings and workshops, build public speaking and leadership skills, and be creative in what they’d like to offer the community.

The YPL selection process will be administered by a committee of respected local poets who will review applications and choose finalists. Finalists will be invited to perform their poetry at a public event which will culminate with an announcement of the winner.

The community is encouraged to share this opportunity with local youth and encourage them to apply. For details and to apply, visit or If you are interested in donating to this program, visit to learn how to donate. 

Have questions? Would you like to volunteer to be a part of this process in any way? Email Georgina Marie Guardado at

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