City of Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate and
the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Issues
Call for Voices of the East Coast youth poetry anthology
PHILADELPHIA – The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy with the City of Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate Otter Jung-Allen issued a call for submissions for Voices of the East Coast, a youth poetry anthology to be released in April 2017. Young poets from ages 14 to 19 in Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, Hampton Roads, and Atlanta can submit their poetry to the Voices of the East online through January 17 at creativephl.org/eastcoastvoices.
In July 2016, Otter Jung-Allen was selected to be the City of Philadelphia’s fourth Youth Poet Laureate, a role that provides an outstanding young poet the opportunity to represent their fellow students and young people in Philadelphia through their poetry. During their one-year term, Jung-Allen serves as a voice for the city’s youth through their poetry, promoting poetry, literacy, and arts education throughout the city, and developing their talents under the mentorship of Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher.
Envisioned by Jung-Allen as part of the community engagement requirement during their term as Youth Poet Laureate, Voices of the East Coast is a project in partnership with the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, National Youth Poet Laureate program, Urban Word, and Penmanship Books, which will publish the anthology. Voices of the East Coast emphasizes poetry as a means of creative expression and activism for today’s youth.
“Voices of the East Coast will be a reflection of these poets’ emotions, demands, despair, joy, love, without restrictions or elitism or inaccessibility,” said Jung-Allen. “It is a collaborative and tireless effort to uncover and amplify ourselves and our communities, bringing an unforgettable collection of art and activism to the forefront.”
The Youth Poet Laureates of Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, Hampton Roads, and Atlanta will share the responsibility of editing the anthology for publication. Along with Jung-Allen, these Youth Poet Laureates are part of the National Youth Poet Laureate program, an initiative of Urban Word, which aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education.
City of Philadelphia’s Chief Cultural Officer Kelly Lee reflected on the significance of the Voices of the East Coast anthology project and how it will hopefully serve as an example to the rest of the country as to what can be accomplished through promoting poetry among our youth.
“We fully support our Youth Poet Laureate Otter Jung-Allen in bringing together talented youth voices through issuing this call for submission for this anthology, Voices of the East Coast. Poetry is a medium that is becoming an ever more popular means of expression for our youth through spoken word, slam poetry, and poetry competitions,” said Chief Cultural Officer Kelly Lee. “Voices of the East Coast will hopefully serve as an example of the diversity of poetry being created by our youth throughout the country that the public will now be able to enjoy through this anthology.”
About City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The mission of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and the creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City. For more information about the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, visit: www.CreativePHL.org, Facebook.com/CreativePHL and on Twitter @CreativePHL and Instagram @CreativePHL.