Denver Youth Poet Laureate



The Denver Youth Poet Laureate is a program of Minor Disturbance alongside Colorado Creative Industries, Youth on Record, Lighthouse Writers Workshop and in partnership with Urban Word, supported by PEN Center USA and the Academy of American Poets. The Denver Youth Poet Laureate program identifies young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, and leadership and education.

From October 20th-November 20th, Minor Disturbance will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists ages 14-20 from across the Denver area who are interested in representing the area as the inaugural Denver Youth Poet Laureate. A group of esteemed judges will select one young artist to be honored with the title of Denver Youth Poet Laureate. The top 5 Youth will perform at the inauguration ceremony which will be held on Friday, December 9th at Youth on Record located at 1301 West 10th Avenue in Denver.

Along with the prestigious title of Denver Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will receive a book deal from Penmanship Books and will be the recipient of the Russell J. Arkind Memorial Scholarship. The Denver Youth Poet Laureate will also be provided with numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voice, civic leadership and love for Denver as they perform though out the Metro Area and State.


  1. Applicants must be from Denver Metro Area, and between 14-20 years old.
  2. Applicants must stay a resident of the Denver Metro Area for the full length of their year long term.
  3. Submit 5 Original Poems / Raps / Performances (and/or YouTube Links to your poems).
  4. Submit at least one poem that speaks to the themes of Human Relations, Diversity and Social Justice.
  5. Include a RESUME that includes your name, address, phone # and email, AS WELL AS detailing all of your accomplishments, community service, after school programs, volunteer experiences and awards (if you want, you may use the template included in the booklet or ask your teacher to help)

Download the 2017 Denver Youth Poet Laureate Booklet

Submission materials can be uploaded via this Submittable link



The Denver Youth Poet Laureate will serve as a voice for the youth of the Denver Metro Area and will work to enhance the awareness and practice of the literary arts within the metro area and beyond. They will also serve to promote social justice and community engagement.

  • The Laureate will be chosen based on literary merit, civic engagement, presence as a public speaker and ability to act as a true representation of the youth of the Denver Metro Area.
  • The top 5 Poets/MCs will then be asked to perform at the inauguration ceremony to be held on Friday December 9th at Youth on Record located at 1301 West 10th Avenue in Denver..
  • Prizes for runner ups will include free workshops from Lighthouse Writers and Youth on Record, publication in upcoming Minor Disturbance anthologies, free professional recording studio time and opportunities to perform in the upcoming year.

If you have questions regarding eligibility, or if you live within the eligible 7 counties of the Denver Metro Area please contact us.

would like to thank our partners: