The Madison Arts Commission is now accepting applications for the next Madison Youth Poet Laureate

The City of Madison Arts Commission, and Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez are pleased to announce the second annual call for a Madison Youth Poet Laureate.

The Madison Youth Poet Laureate program is a partnership between the City of Madison and the National Youth Poet Laureate program, an initiative of Urban Word. The Youth Poet Laureate program honors talented poets from ages 13-19 years old and provides competitive opportunities for young people to showcase their literary art on the regional and national stage. The City of Madison celebrated the inaugural year of the the local program in 2022, and selected then 14-year-old Madeleine Bohn to serve as the city’s first Madison Youth Poet Laureate. Through this initiative, Bohn read her poetry at Common Council, the Winter Festival of Poetry, and at Sequoya Library.

The Madison Youth Poet Laureate serves a one-year term, and will be expected to give three public readings alongside the current Madison Poet Laureate during that time. Additionally, the Youth Poet Laureate will have their poems published in the National Youth Poet Laureate annual anthology, and have the opportunity to apply for the National Youth Poet Laureate role in the fall. To be eligible, applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 19 at the time of selection, and must reside within the City of Madison.

Applications for the 2023-2024 Madison Youth Poet Laureate has been EXTENDED to 12 PM (noon) on Friday, May 5, 2023. Applicants are required to attend and read one of their submitted poems at both the Madison Arts Commission meeting of May 9 at 5:30 PM and a ceremony on June 15 at 6 PM at Pinney Library where the winner will be announced.


Throughout her term as Madison Poet Laureate, Angela Trudell Vasquez has engaged youth poets in her work serving as judge for local poetry contests, teaching in the local schools, curating their poems into the annual Bus Line Poetry Project, and including their voices and artistic expressions wherever possible. Ms. Trudell Vasquez, members of the Madison Arts Commission, and other community literary partners believe it is important to provide an official platform to elevate the unique voices of young poets in our city.

About the National Youth Poet Laureate Program
The National Youth Poet Laureate Program works with local arts organization across the United States to elevate youth voices that are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement and social impact. The National Youth Poet Laureate Program is supported by the academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Parks Service, and many more, and is an initiative of Urban Word NYC, Inc., an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization.

About the Madison Arts Commission
The Madison Arts Commission’s (MAC) is an 11-member citizen commission appointed by the Mayor to advise the City about matters of arts and culture. MAC’s mission is to foster arts appreciation by initiating partnerships, developing new audiences, and sponsoring diverse artistic activities by emerging and established artists and arts organizations while preserving Madison’s rich artistic tradition. To support a full creative life for all, The Madison Arts Commission commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable city.