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Apply to be the first RI Youth Poetry Ambassador

Students in grades 9-12 can apply to become the state’s Youth Poetry Ambassador and help lead an initiative to encourage creativity in young people.

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Rhode Island Poet Laureate, Tina Cane, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book, at the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, have partnered to launch the inaugural Rhode Island Youth Poetry Ambassador initiative.

This program will establish a youth poetry advocate position to be filled by a high school student (grades 9-12) who lives in Rhode Island. The 2018 application period runs until February 1.

This initiative is designed to bring more poetry directly to youth in RI and to inspire young people through example. Just as the State Poet Laureate position affirms Rhode Island’s support of poetry, the Youth Poetry Ambassador is meant to validate and support the creative potential of our young people.

RI Poet Laureate, Tina Cane, will choose the winner in a submissions process along with poets Sussy Santana and Sawako Nakayasu, who serve as this year’s guest judges. The state’s first Youth Poetry Ambassador will be announced in early April 2018.

National Poetry Month
A celebration and group reading will take place in late April 2018 at the State House Library and will be free and open to the public.

The selected Youth Poetry Ambassador have the following opportunities–contingent upon the student’s ability and availability:

  • $250 cash prize.
  • A guest-writer spot in the Providence Journal “Second Sunday” Poet Laureate column.
  • The opportunity to have his/her poetry featured through Poetry in Motion, RI, on RIPTA buses state-wide.
  • An Instagram account to manage as RI Youth Poetry Ambassador through which to share with RI youth visual prompts for poetry writing and poetry items of interest.
  • An October reading with other youth at a Providence Community Library branch or at another Rhode Island library branch.
  • An opportunity to record an episode for Poetry Dose, the poetry podcast produced by Atticus Allen and Tina Cane.
  • A trip (or two) on Providence Community Library’s Bookmobile to meet, greet and share poetry with youth from around the city.

To be considered, applicants must submit the following materials, via email or post, between January 2, 2018 and February 1, 2018:

  • A one or two-paragraph statement on why s/he would like to be considered for this position.
  • A letter of support from a teacher or librarian.
  • A letter of support from a peer.
  • Two original poems.

To apply,

Contact: Kate Lentz, Director of Rhode Island Center for the Book

Email to: kate@ribook.org

Or mail to:
Rhode Island Center for the Book
131 Washington Street, Suite 210
Providence, RI 02903
Attn: Kate

About the sponsors:

Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. Founded in 2003, Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Tine Cane received a BA from the University of Vermont and an MA in French literature from Middlebury College. She is the author of Once More with Feeling (Veliz Books, 2017) and The Fifth Thought (Other Painters Press, 2008), a book-length poem. The recipient of a Fellowship Merit Award from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Cane is the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools, Rhode Island. In 2016 she was selected to be the sixth poet laureate of Rhode Island.