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Interested in joining or nominating someone for the Youth Poetry Council? Email, and someone will respond to you shortly!

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Youth Poetry Council
For this project, the Northern Arizona Book Festival will establish a Youth Poetry Council and its flagship Youth Poet Laureate Program. The Youth Poet Laureate will be an ambassador for the literary arts to area youth and help lead the Youth Poetry Council in organizing literary arts programming, conducting workshops, giving readings and performances, hosting Slam events, and conducting outreach with schools, non-profits, and other partners. Together, the Council and Laureate will take the lead in planning both the Young Readers Festival in early April and year-round programming targeting literary arts for young people. Experienced educators and arts administrators will oversee and facilitate the activities of the Laureate and Council and train them in the requisite skills necessary to achieve their goals.

As a new initiative (in 2023) responding to excitement about previous youth involvement in Book Festival events, the project’s aim is to create a forum to empower young people to share their enthusiasm for and knowledge of literature, coordinate programming that is of interest to them, and become more active contributors to their literary communities. The learning outcomes we hope to achieve with the Youth Poet Laureate and Youth Poetry Council are:
Students will collaborate with each other and partners to coordinate literary arts programming. Students will determine the best use of resources for diverse community needs, audiences, and perspectives. The learning outcomes for programming are:

        1. Students will appropriately apply new forms and techniques to their creative writing.

        2. Students will demonstrate greater fluency in performing their creative works.

        3. Students will articulate how cultural identities are represented in the nuances of literary texts.

The first Flagstaff Youth Poet Laureate is Micaela Merryman. We are looking for Youth Poetry Council members aged 14-24 throughout the Northern Arizona region. Both the Youth Laureate and Council Members are expected to commit to one-year terms to ensure continuity of operations, implement programming, build community, and learn new skills. Youth Council meetings will be held online approximately once per month. 

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Youth Poet Laureate, 2022-23


Micaela Merryman is a twenty-two-year-old Native and African American poet from Flagstaff, Arizona. Read some of her poetry here.

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Youth Literary Calendar

Return for more information at the end of January.

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