Rockford’s Youth Poet

In 2020, the City of Rockford, in partnership with the Rockford Public Library and the Rockford Area Arts Council, established a one-year, honorary position of Rockford’s Youth Poet.

The Youth Poet is a voice of our community and a leader for our youth.  The Youth Poet is a mentee of the Poet Laureate and will have many opportunities to participate in important community events.

Rockford’s Youth Poet 2022: Giulyana Gamero

Giulyana is a junior at Auburn High School. Giulyana’s plans for her one-year term as Youth Poet Laureate are steeped with passion for poetry, community and the impact the arts can have, especially for young people. Giulyana has shared that she has always been surrounded by language, particularly Spanish and English, and growing up in a Mexican-Puerto Rican household deeply influenced her love of language. She has been published in the Young American Poetry Digest (2015, 2016), earned an honorable mention with the National Scholastic Art and Writing Award (2017), and is currently working on her first novel.

Giulyana’s one-year term will be focused on workshops and special events within our community that focus on various writing styles and emphasize a focus on culture and identity. She says, “With these events, there is hope for unity and for the blossoming of friendships among the youth in Rockford. Communication with other poets and writers is so important and everyone deserves the opportunity to find solace within writing accompanied by solace within knowing you are not alone in your passions.”

Requirements for Rockford’s Youth Poet

The Youth Poet must be between the ages of 13-17 years of at the time of nomination, must have been a City of Rockford resident for at least 1 year prior to the nomination deadline and remain a resident throughout the two-year term, and must be committed to bringing poetry and literary arts to other youth and community. The Youth Poet Committee is established with representatives from the Arts Council, City of Rockford, Rockford Public Library, Rockford University, and members of the city’s arts and literary community. Nominations for Youth Poet are published in the spring of the each year on the Rockford Public Library page (www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org)

New Video Series

The City of Rockford’s Health and Human Service’s health literacy initiative, Rockford Ready, aims to build a healthier tomorrow by empowering residents to take control of their health through education, community engagement, and promoting access to the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

In partnership with Rockford Ready and the City of Rockford, the Rockford Area Arts Council is excited to announce a new video series of poems written and performed by the City of Rockford’s 2022 Youth Poet, Giulyana Gamero. The six-part video series, directed and produced by Corbyn Tyson of Frank and Harvey Film Productions, is part of the Rockford Ready Health Literacy Poetry Series which encourages Rockford residents to speak up about their health.

Learn more here.