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  • Writer's pictureTWP

Youth Poet Laureate Program

Poets and writers ages 13-19 win a chance to be the next Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate! Applications open Feb 1, 2024. The Youth Poet Laureate Program celebrates young writers at the intersection of artistic excellence and civic engagement.

Each year the organization will host information sessions and mock interviews and provide potential candidates with the opportunity to receive feedback on their poems prior to their final submission to the Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Program or the Virginia Youth Poet Laureate Program.

TWP Youtube Channel

How It Works

YPL Rules & Eligibility PDF
Download PDF • 5.27MB

Past Winners

2022 Hampton Roads YPL Ayana Askew

2021 Hampton Roads YPL Salma Amrou

2016 Hampton Roads YPL Dayana Lee

HRYP (Hampton Roads Youth Poets) is the spoken word division of Teens With a Purpose

HRYP develops young writers and young minds through intense trainings and workshops. These writers, spoken word educators, and youth activists learn to use their voices, energy and ideas to be a forge and a change in their community while developing tools for personal growth. Participants in this program cultivate and present a monthly Open Mic and workshops. They are required to attend 10 week-long workshops preparing young writers to address critical issues facing the world, the community, youth and the individual.

These workshops are facilitated by seasoned writers and fellow youth spoken word artists, to enhance their writing, and oratorical skills. They are also required to do community service projects and perform their art for disadvantaged people, homeless, imprisoned or hospitalized people in conjunction with attending and addressing local and civic events. HRYP has co-facilitated and/or performed at the PHAT Conference, AIDS Day 2011 at NSU, AIDS Day 2012 Walk & Gala, Worth the Wait, Af’ram Festival, Norfolk Multicultural Teen Festival, Green Run HS Distracted Driving Forum, 2012 Teen Safe Driving Campaign by GEICO and Drive Smart, One Love Festival and many more local events and programs.

Poetry Out Loud

The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, created this Poetry Out Loud “How To” Guide for poetry memorization. Students from Norfolk’s Teens with A Purpose (TWP) participated in a week-long residency with poet, performance and VCA Teaching Artist, Regie Cabico, to learn skills and techniques to build their memorization muscle.

Hear This! Docu-series


Join us at one of our school based poetry clubs that fuses Spoken Word Poetry with visual art and music transforming the class room into a poetry studio. Here youth learn how to represent themselves, their experiences, and their ideas, powerfully. Students apply these tools to magnify the strength of their writing and their speaking. Clubs are currently held at Bayside 6th Grade Annex in Virginia Beach, Lakewood Academy for Discovery in Norfolk, Huntington Middle School in Newport News, I.C. Norcom High School and Booker T. Washington High School.  Let us know if you are interested in starting a poetry club at your school or organization. Virtual is an option.

Other Literary Arts Programs

Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Logo


The Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Program identifies youth writers and leaders who are committed to civic/community engagement, poetry & performance, leadership and education across Hampton Roads. Youth will be published in a national youth Poet Laureate anthology and regional Youth Poetry Anthology.

Hampton Roads Youth Poets Weekly Development Workshops

Virtually and In-Person

Hampton Roads Youth Poets Weekly Development Workshop at TWP

At the end of the festival, six finalists qualify to represent all of Hampton Roads at Brave New Voices and other national and regional events. The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, powered by Youth Speaks, it is the only festival of its kind. Every year, over 500 young poets, their mentors, and the nation’s leading artists and cultural workers convene in a different U.S. city for 4-5 days of arts education, artistic expression, and civic engagement.

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