Photo courtesy of Dallas Public Library.

Dallas neighbors can now apply to be the Poet Laureate of Dallas and the Youth Poet Laureate of Dallas.

Dallas’ youth poetry competition began 25 years ago, and this year, the city is launching the Youth Poet Laureate of Dallas and Poet Laureate of Dallas. Earlier this year, Zoe Haskovec of Sudie TAG and Chloe Ku of The Hockaday School were honored among the 2021 finalists, including more from our neighborhood.

The youth program is open to anyone 13-18 who lives in the City of Dallas or attends a school in Dallas. It is meant to “encourage and support the literary talent of young people pursuing creative endeavors and to provide a platform for a youth voice in Dallas.”

Adults must live in Dallas Country and live or work in the City of Dallas, be at least 21 years old and meet other requirements found here.

The winner of the youth program, who will keep the title for one year, will be announced at the Express Yourself! Youth Poetry Competition Award Ceremony in April 2022. Included with the recognition is a $1,000 scholarship, a plaque and a published poem in the Express Yourself! Finalists’ Anthology.

The Poet Laureate of Dallas will have a two-year term starting April 2022 and will have a collection of works published by Deep Vellum.

Along with the rewards come responsibilities. The youth winner will have to help film a promotional video for the competition, participate in a public reading of the work at at least one speaking event between May 2022 and August 2022 and attend the next Express Yourself! Award Ceremony.

To apply, students should submit an original poem to the Express Yourself! Youth Poetry Competition and complete the online application, which requires: three original poems; contact information of a non-family adult who can speak to the student’s suitability to be poet laureate; a biography including extracurricular activities, achievements and other published works; and a statement of why the student should be the youth poet laureate.

The programs are supported by funding through the Joe M. and Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation and the Friends of the Dallas Public Library.

For more information about the youth competition, email