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Mayor Walsh Announces Alondra Bobadilla as Boston's Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate
BOSTON - Monday, January 13, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Boston Public Library, 826 Boston, MassLEAP, and Urban Word, announced Alondra Bobadilla of Hyde Park as the City of Boston's first-ever Youth Poet Laureate. Bobadilla, a 17-year-old student at Fenway High School, was recognized at the Boston Youth Poet Laureate Finalist Showcase this Saturday at the Central Library in Copley Square.
Anjalequa Birkett of Roslindale
Asiyah Herrera of Roxbury
Blessing Olayinka Adedeji of Hyde Park
Eliza Carpenter of Dorchester
Isabelle Goodrich of Hyde Park
Kaylah Tshitenge of Hyde Park
Madalen Bigsby-Licht of Jamaica Plain
Norah Brady of Jamaica Plain (finalist)
Tariq Charles of Dorchester (finalist)
Photo (left to right): Eliza Carpenter, Alondra Bobadilla, Norah Brady, Isabelle Goodrich, Tariq Charles, Kaylah Tshitenge, Madalen Bigsby-Licht and Asiyah Herrera.
As Youth Poet Laureate, Bobadilla will work alongside Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola as an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, and to create a unique artistic legacy through public readings and events.The mission of both roles is to raise the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians. Similar to the Boston Poet Laureate, the Youth Poet Laureate is a ceremonial appointment.
"This new role is an exciting addition to Boston's arts community, especially as we continue to work toward enhanced arts education for all Boston students, and more opportunities to engage in the arts citywide," said Kara Elliott-Ortega. "As Youth Poet Laureate Alondra will help foster creative expression and connection among young people in Boston."
Bobadilla will receive a $500 honorarium each year, and may serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. She will also receive mentoring from the City of Boston Poet Laureate, will have a space at the Boston Public Library, and will publish a collection of poems while in her role.
In addition to this, Bobadilla and the two finalists received tuition and housing scholarships for Social Justice Week: Writers and Artists as Activists at The Fine Arts Work Center, a historic art colony in Provincetown. During this week-long summer program, they will participate in daily workshops with Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola, as well as collaborate with other artists, writers, and featured instructors. The three finalists and seven semi-finalists all received two tickets from Huntington Theatre Company for any show this season, four free passes to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and a gift bag, two books of poetry from MassLEAP, a GrubStreet membership, a copy of Porsha Olayiwola's book of poetry I shimmer sometimes too, two year-long memberships to the Museum of Fine Arts, and a youth poetry anthology and t-shirt from 826 Boston.
To learn more about the Poet Laureate program, visit here.