Oakland’s unconventional third Youth Poet Laureate finds her voice

Sophie Elkin reads her poetry at the Oakland Public Library. Photo by Chloe Shi.

17-year-old Sophie Elkin, named Oakland’s 3rd Youth Poet Laureate in August, writes about what she knows: the grit and grandeur of Oakland’s people and places and the less tangible but no less real world of adolescence. After a childhood struggling to come out to herself and her parents, Sophie hopes her poetry will help other women to find their voices the way she has.

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