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The Carnegie Center in Lexington announces the first Youth Poet Laureate Chapter in Kentucky


Central Kentucky as a literary hot spot keeps heating up. Lexington resident Ada Limon was just named U.S. Poet Laureate. Now, one young poet in Lexington will soon have the opportunity to hone their craft and serve their community. The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning in Lexington recently created the area’s first Youth Poet Laureate Chapter.

Jamari Turner is Children’s Outreach and Volunteer Director at the Carnegie Center in Lexington and Program Manager for the Lexington Chapter Youth Poet Laureate.

Turner said it's exciting to have the opportunity to highlight local writers in the 13 to 18 age group.

“The Youth Poet Laureate of Lexington will get the opportunity to sort of draw in from what they know and their community. And bring people in and out and be able to have more anatomy in the writer’s community as a whole. And that is what excites me and everyone at the Carnegie Center the most,” said Jamari.

The Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $500 grant and $500 scholarship. Turner said they’ll also gain access to resources and supporters.

“Including the Carnegie Center, and working on their own passion project in the community. They can also look forward to some mentoring from different writers around Kentucky and Lexington and also free classes from the Carnegie Center,” said Turner.

Turner said the center hasn’t decided which local writers will mentor the Youth Poet Laureate, though they will be approaching Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson.

Applicants must be 13 to 18 years old and residents of Lexington during their term as Youth Poet Laureate. The chosen poet’s work will be featured in an anthology chapbook, or collection of poems. Their responsibilities include participating in at least four public events during their one-year term.

The application window opens August 1 and closes October 31.

Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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