Stephanie Yun, 18, was named Oakland’s first ever youth poet laureate last week. She was honored by Juan Felipe Herrera, California’s poet laureate and a judge for the competition, at the Flor y Canto Festival. The children’s poetry festival, hosted by Talleres de Poesía, (a group of bilingual poets based in California) took place last weekend in San Francisco.
Yun, who graduated from Oakland’s Skyline High School, is a freshman at UC Berkeley. She was pronounced the winner of seven finalists after two rounds of judging in Oakland’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Competition, and received a $5,000 scholarship. The competition accepted works of written or spoken poetry from youth ages 13 to 18 in Oakland.
The competition, which started April 1, was organized by the Oakland Public Library’s teen services department in partnership with Youth Speaks, a nonprofit organization focused on spoken word performance and education.