Eligibility & Criteria

About the Orange County Poet Laureate Programs
Founded in Orange County, CA in 2021 by LibroMobile and supported in part by OC Public Libraries and the National Youth Poet Laureate Program, the OC Poet Laureate programs and movement honors and celebrates the county’s most exceptional poets, who not only have a commitment to writing and literature, but who also have a track record of leadership, civic and community engagement, social justice, leadership and extra-curricular participation. We created this platform to honor these poet-leaders and have committed to identifying poet laureates who uphold these program values.

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What we are looking for in a OCYPL

We seek applications from young people who demonstrate both artistic excellence in poetry, and a commitment to civic engagement and social justice (as exemplified through a CV). We welcome poets of all creative dispositions and aesthetics and of all backgrounds to apply. We want the YPL program to reflect the diversity of voices and experiences in the world, and particularly the demographics of Orange County. Traditionally, Youth Poet Laureates are students who have matriculated through writing programs, have achieved various levels of success, and are embedded in the youth leadership of various organizations.

 

What we mean by Civic Engagement and Social Justice
We seek applications from young people who are committed to the growth and development of their local communities. By “Civic Engagement,” we mean any regular activity, formally or informally sponsored, whereby the YPL applicant can strengthen and promote the quality of life in his or her community or school. By “Social Justice,” we mean any examples of praxis, commitment to equity and inclusiveness, activism and the fundamental right of youth to be outspoken. Examples include efforts in political activism, organizing, school participation, and volunteerism, as well as various educational and artistic initiatives. We require the submission of a CV, which is judged and scored, to add value to the mission and goals of this program.

 

What we mean by Literary Excellence

We seek applications from young people (13-19 years old) who excel in the literary arts, using poetry as a tool not only for self-expression but civic engagement as well. We define literary excellence as any literary work that employs the tools of poetic craft— music, image, metaphor and simile, traditional forms (sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, and so on)—combined with a passionate artistic vision concerned, thematically, with matters of the heart, spirit, and mind; politics; identity; family and relationships; history; love in its many iterations; other art forms; or any aspect of the human experience, often at the intersection of any of the aforementioned, in order to explore and deepen our common humanity. Literary excellence is assessed via the poetry portfolio submission, and also merited in the CV with any history of awards/accolades for writing.

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What we are looking for in a OC-PL

We seek applications from people over the age of 19 who demonstrate both artistic excellence in poetry, and a commitment to civic engagement and social justice (as exemplified through a CV). We welcome poets of all creative dispositions and aesthetics and of all backgrounds to apply, acknowledging a need for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) representation. We want the OC-PL program to reflect the diversity of voices and experiences in the world. Traditionally, Poet Laureates are community members who have matriculated through writing programs (but not required), have achieved various levels of success, and are embedded in community leadership of various organizations.        
 

What we mean by Civic Engagement and Social Justice
We seek applications from people over the age of 19 who are committed to the growth and development of their local communities. By “Civic Engagement,” we mean any regular activity, formally or informally sponsored, whereby the Poet Laureate applicant can strengthen and promote the quality of life in their community or school. By “Social Justice,” we mean any examples of praxis, commitment to equity and inclusiveness, activism and the fundamental right of community members to be outspoken. Examples include efforts in political activism, organizing, community engagement, and volunteerism, as well as various educational and artistic initiatives. We require the submission of a CV, which is judged and scored, to add value to the mission and goals of this program.        
 

What we mean by Literary Excellence
We seek applications from people over the age of 19 who excel in the literary arts, using poetry as a tool not only for self-expression, but civic engagement as well. We define literary excellence as any literary work that employs the tools of poetic craft— music, image, metaphor and simile, traditional forms (sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, and so on)—combined with a passionate artistic vision concerned, thematically, with matters of the heart, spirit, and mind; politics; identity (LGBTQ+, race, ethnicity, ability, etc.); family and relationships; history; love in its many iterations; other art forms; or any aspect of the human experience, often at the intersection of any of the aforementioned, in order to explore and deepen our common humanity. Literary excellence is assessed via the poetry portfolio submission, and also merited in the CV with any history of awards/accolades for writing.

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