Youth Poet Laureate

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 Youth Poet Laureate.

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

Youth Poet Laureate 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 Youth Poet Laureate

The Youth Poet Laureate 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 Poet Laureate 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 Laureate are published in the spring of the each year on the Rockford Public Library page (www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org)