Broadway Utica



UTICA, NY — The Utica-Oneida County Branch of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People announces their collaboration with the City of Utica to
select Oneida County’s first Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate for 2022-2023.
As our local communities continue to struggle personally and professionally not only with a
global pandemic, but educational, economic, and social justice challenges, the NAACP
Utica-Oneida County is also aware of the great creativity that exists in the county. Many
residents are eloquently expressing through poetry and spoken word the challenges they face as well as their hopes for change.

In this light, we invite all to submit original poems discussing the theme of “struggle, hope,
and resilience.” One candidate will be selected to serve as the NAACP Utica-Oneida County
Poet Laureate, and a second candidate will serve as the Youth Poet Laureate from May of
2022 through May of 2023.

The Youth Poet Laureate role is intended for those aged 13-18, and the Poet Laureate is open to residents ages 19 or older. Candidates should meet the age criteria as well as be residents of Oneida County or attend an academic institution in Oneida County.

The deadline to submit an application and relevant work is Friday, April 1, 2022. For more
information, guidelines and how to apply, please visit:

Winners and finalists will be recognized at an award ceremony on Saturday, April 30,
2022. The Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate will receive a range of prizes and
engage with community members through performing at community events and
connecting with high schools and colleges throughout the summer and following year.

The goal of the NAACP Utica-Oneida County 2022-2023 Poet Laureate and Youth Poet
Laureate is to highlight the creativity, talent and diverse experiences of Oneida County
community members. This initiative was inspired by the vision shared by Amanda Gorman,
the nation’s first Youth Poet Laureate, and the contributions so many of our youth have made by giving voice to their thoughts and experiences. Sponsors include the Bank of Utica and the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute.

“The Utica Oneida County NAACP Youth and Education Committees recognize the
importance of civic and community engagement, and encourage our youth to take an active role in decision-making and public problem-solving using their distinctive voice,” said
Reverend Sharon Baugh, President of the Utica-Oneida County NAACP chapter. “The roles
of a Youth Poet Laureate and Poet Laureate provide an opportunity to recognize those who
are forging connections and making change through creative expression.”
For more information, please email


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on
the beliefs embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America. The mission of the
NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all
persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Jess Szabo
Jess Szabo
Jess Szabo' is a novelist, writing teacher, and content writer for Utica area artists. Her online workspace can be found at

Most Popular