Youth Poets Laureate

Youth poet laureate programs promote youth voice and leadership. They are an impactful way to encourage civic engagement and celebrate literacy and the literary arts. The National Youth Poet Laureate initiative is a program of Urban Word, an award-winning arts and youth development organization. Over 50 partner cities to date are participating in Urban Word’s national network of Youth Poets Laureate.

Alexandra Huynh

Alexandra Huynh of Sacramento is the 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate and a freshman at Stanford University. A second-generation Vietnamese American, she employs poetry as a tool of self-reclamation and social justice for marginalized communities. As part of San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto’s Youth & Ecopoetry Project, Alexandra was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2021 San Mateo County Youth Climate Ambassadors Summer Retreat.

Watch Alexandra’s Keynote Address at the 2021 San Mateo County Youth Climate Ambassadors Summer Retreat.

Meera Dasgupta

Meera Dasgupta is the 2020 National Youth Poet Laureate, the first Asian American and the youngest, appointed to the post. She also served as 2020 United Nations Sustainable Goals Ambassador. She is currently a freshman at the University of Chicago where she majors in Political Science and Economics. Meera has featured in “Power to the Poets” and at RISE 2020 San Mateo County Women’s Leadership Conference, and has also facilitated a youth poetry workshop as part of the San Mateo County Youth & Ecopoetry Project.

Watch Meera’s performance in “Power to the Poets”.

Anouk Yeh

Anouk Yeh is a spoken word poet, journalist and organizer from San Jose, California. She is Santa Clara County’s 2021 Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate and a 2020 National Student Poet Program semifinalist. A firm believer that “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible,” Yeh is always actively looking for inventive ways to tackle current events in her poetry. Her poetry has been featured by Stanford University, Planned Parenthood and the Kronos Quartet. Her journalism pieces have been published in Refinery29, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Education Post, among others.

Watch Anouk Yeh’s performance at the San Mateo County Office of Education’s Arts as LIFE! Conference.

Zoe Dorado

Zoe Dorado, hailing from Castro Valley, CA, is a 16-year-old spoken word poet and musician. She is part of the Bayanihan Youth Group of Filipino Advocates for Justice, SPOKES — the youth advisory board of Youth Speaks, and is the 2021 Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Alameda County.

Read Zoe’s poem on belonging.

Greer Nakadegawa-Lee

Greer Nakadegawa-Lee is the 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. She has written a poem every day for over three years now. Her first chapbook, A Heart Full of Hallways, is published by Nomadic Press. Greer was a featured reader in “Power to the Poets” and at the Burlingame Reads Kickoff Poetry Event in 2021.

Watch Greer’s performance in “Power to the Poets”.

Samuel Getachew

Samuel Getachew is a spoken word poet, writer, and model from Oakland, California. He is the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate and the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Grand Slam Champion. In 2021, he became the youngest ever opinion writer to be published in print in ​The New York Times. He is a freshman at Yale University.

Watch Samuel’s performance at the Peninsula Virtual Bookfest.

Madeleine Hur

Madeleine Hur is the Inaugural Daly City Youth Poet Laureate, and the first Youth Poet Laureate in San Mateo County. Currently a Senior at Oceana High School in Pacifica, she represents her school as a Student Trustee for the Jefferson Union High School District and is part of the Associated Student Body Congress. Named Daly City Youth of the Year in December 2021, she has represented Daly City and San Mateo County in numerous public events.

Read Madeleine’s poem on belonging.