Atlanta Word Works – Teen Poetry

Atlanta’s home for youth poets and uncensored teen poetry.  Art, not ego.What is Atlanta Word Works?

Atlanta Word Works (AWW) is a program of VOX that focuses on poetry writing and spoken word performance for teens in Metro Atlanta.  It was originally started by VOX alumna Natalie Cook and has since become an integral part of VOX programming. Since its inception, AWW has sought to provide space for youth poets throughout the metro-Atlanta area to grow and express themselves. We host poetry workshops, open mic nights and slams open to the community.  VOX also hosts the Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate program and our youth poetry collective.  All of Atlanta Word Works’ programming is run by current and former participants, operating under a near-peer model. Check out some of our featured Atlanta Word Works content.

VOX ATL and AWW is home to Metro Atlanta’s Youth Poet Laureate Program!

The application for the 2022 Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate is now open! *Apply to Atlanta’s Youth Poet Laureate program today! See below for the link and details on how to apply. Application deadline: April 22, 2022*

Current and Previous Atlanta Youth Poet Laureates:

Aanika Eragam – 2021 – present

Nathan Wallace – 2019- 2020

Ogechi Ofodu – 2017- 2018

Ninel Nekay – 2016-2017

Kenny Buckner – 2015

What is the Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate Program?

The Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic & community engagement, poetry & performance, human relations, diversity, social justice and education across Metro Atlanta.  Application process and details can be found here: Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate 2022 Process_Rules

Timeline: March 2022 – May 2022 

Initial Application Open until April 22, 2022 at 7 p.m.  Apply here:

2022 Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) Timeline

Application Opens – Friday, March 25, 2022-

1st Workshop Session – Tuesday, March 29 5:30-7 p.m. Civic Engagement and Crafting Your Brag Sheet

2nd Workshop Session – Tuesday, April 12  5:30-7 p.m. Writing and Do’s and Don’ts of Performance

3rd Workshop Session – Saturday, April 23 12-2 p.m. Mock Slam and Performance Practice

Register for our YPL Workshop Series:

YPL Application Closes
– Friday, April 22, 2022 by 7 p.m.
Judges’ Application Review Period – Friday, April 22 through Saturday, April 30, 2022
Five finalists will be notified on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

YPL Slam and Commencement Ceremony: Saturday, May 14th

The Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC (National Youth Poet Laureate home) and VOX ATL supported in part by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and by the Georgia Council for the Arts, who also receives support from its partner agency – the National Endowment for the Arts.


Who’s Eligible:

  • Teen residents of the Metro Atlanta Area (ie: Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, or Gwinnett county)
  • Teens 13-18 years of age
  • Teens with an interest in poetry writing and performance, as well as a demonstrated interest in community engagement and youth empowerment

YPL Benefits:

  • Serve as a representative for youth voice and poetry in Metro Atlanta (access to performances, readings, etc.)
  • Be published in the National Urban Word Youth Poet Laureate anthology
  • Be eligible to compete in the regional and national Youth Poet Laureate competitions and all national Youth Poet Laureate programming with other youth across the country
  • Option to receive either a $500 prize or the resources to self-publish and print your own chapbook
  • First priority to participate in VOX ATL’s summer poetry collective

Application Process:

  1. Fill out the application here
  2. Applicants are required to:
    • Submit 5 original works of poetry
    • Submit a resume, CV, or brag sheet detailing applicant’s accomplishments, community service, after-school program participation, awards, or anything else applicant wishes to highlight about themselves
    • Submit adequate responses to all application questions
  3. After the submission period has closed, the applicant pool will be narrowed to five finalists by community judges. The five finalists will then be invited to compete in a slam at our Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2022. This slam will take place in Atlanta, GA. All five finalists will be honored at the event for their commitment to community and the arts. However, at the conclusion of the event, the 2022 Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate will be chosen.

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