The Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County is awarded to an artist between 13-19 years old who is passionate about their art and their communities. Applications are closed, and the new Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County will be announced in July 2022.
The Youth Poet of Allegheny County 2022-23 receives:
- a prize of $500
- artistic support and paid performance opportunities during one-year term (2022-2023)
- publication in the National Youth Poet Laureate anthology
- entry into the National Youth Poet Laureate competition
To be eligible for the award, you must:
- be a resident of Allegheny County during academic year 2022-23
- be 13-19 years old by September 2022
- demonstrate community involvement
- demonstrate engagement with social justice causes
Meet the Panel of Judges
Nairobi is a singer-songwriter, rapper, actress, poet, artist, director, teaching artist, visual artist, and activist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a member of 1Hood Media, where she is blessed to use her art and empower others to use their voices, as she strongly represents her brand of “Individuality, Divinity, and Purpose.” The 2016 winner of the August Wilson Monologue Competition, Nairobi received her BFA in Acting from Point Park University. She has been featured in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, WAMO, the Pittsburgh Courier, and NPR for her art and activism.
Shaista Rahim is the Lead Counselor of Study Buddy at Hello Neighbor and a recent undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Architecture with a Creative Writing minor. She was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to the United States in 2019. Shaista speaks four languages, including English, Persian, Pashto, Turkish, and she is learning Spanish. In her free time, Shaista likes to read, play cello, and cook.
Alayna Powell is a poet who recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She will be attending the University of Alabama’s MFA program in fall 2022. Her work is featured in Rogue Agent Journal, Zocalo Public Square, and Tinderbox.
Meet our Youth Poet Laureate Alumni
Youth Poet Laureate in the Press
- Trib Live, “Poetry pop-up event to generate buzz for 1st Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books“
- Pitt Wire, “Ones to Watch: Danielle Obisie-Orlu“
- Bridges & Books Podcast, “EPISODE 14: Roseanne A. Brown & Fandom Culture” ft. Danielle Obisie-Orlu
- The Pitt News, “Danielle Obisie-Orlu champions love, empathy as county youth poet laureate“NEXTpittsburgh, “Meet Danielle Obisie-Orlu, the new Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County“
- Kidsburgh, “10 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh”
- Bridges & Books Podcast, “EPISODE 1: Rachael Lippincott, Vincent Folkes, & Joyful Queer Rep in YA“
- Sampsonia Way Magazine, “Why We Write: Inside the Creative Process with the Poet Laureates for Allegheny County“
- Pittsburgh Current, “City Of Asylum Names Four Poets Laureate For Allegheny County“
- Kidsburgh, “5 questions for Vincent Folkes, Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County — and a poem“
- WESA, “City of Asylum launches Poet Laureate Program“
- NEXTpittsburgh, “All Pittsburghers are Poets: City of Asylum creates Poet Laureate posts, open to all Allegheny County residents“
City of Asylum is grateful for support from the following partners:
This project is supported in part by the taxpayers of Allegheny County through the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). RAD works here.