“It is an honor to announce that the Poet Laureate Committee has selected a young person to promote poetry and the arts to the youth of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “The City is proud to acknowledge the power and importance of poetry as an art form. Programs like the Philly Youth Poetry Movement have shown the impact that poetry can have on the positive development of young people, and it’s significant that we are officially recognizing this impact.”
Siduri Beckman was named the city’s first Youth Poet Laureate. She will serve 2 years alongside and receive training from her renowned adult counterpart, Sonia Sanchez, who is entering her second year as the inaugural poet laureate of Philadelphia. They recited their first poem together at the youth poet's introduction to the city.
Beckman’s selection was made after a rigorous process that came down to 2 finalists, Jaya Montague and her. The two were screened from a number of high school applicants living in the city. “We were pleased to see the caliber of talent displayed by the applicants for the position,” stated Gary Steuer, Chair of the Poet Laureate Governing Committee, “and look forward to working with the Youth Poet Laureate as she begins to fulfill the duties associated with the position.”
Steuer is also Chief Cultural Office of the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. He added, “We look forward to seeing her grow as a poet and develop her talents while inspiring her fellow youth to greater artistic pursuits and success in life.”
Beckman was thankful to her family, friends and others who have supported the development of her talents. She feels honored to help spread the art of poetry to young people in Philadelphia.
Visit the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement at http://phillyyouthpoets.org/ for more information about poetry and youth programs in this city.