Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Education Department

Youth Poet Laureate

The Hawai‘i Youth Poet Laureate Fellowship is a program of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in partnership with Urban Word. This fellowship will build youths’ skills in literary excellence, civic engagement, and social impact. During the fellowship, students, ages 11-19 will apply to become the FIRST Youth Poet Laureate of Hawai‘i!

Submission Process
  • Students Ages 10-19, Submit 3 original poems. Include a short resume with your name, address, phone number and email.
  • Detail your accomplishments, community service, after school activities, volunteer experiences and awards.

Submissions accepted March 1-31, 2021

Judging April 1-15

  • Being Named Hawai’i’s First Youth Poet Laureate
  • A $100 Prize for the Top 5 Poets
  • Participation in a Special Celebration in April
  • Publication in Hawai’i’s First Youth Poet Laureate Anthology

Teachers or Individuals are Required to Register before participation
Please submit your Youth Poet Laureate Applications here:

Calendar of Events


May 16, 2021

Commencement Recording– Live @ MACC

May 22, 2021


Commencement Presentation

Completed 20-21 Workshops
  • Feb 10, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: NĀNĀ I KE KUMU (Look to the Source) / Names– TravisT, Ittai Wong
  • Feb 17, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: MĀLAMA WĀ (Nurturing the Space Between)– Travis T, Ittai Wong
  • Feb 24, 2021 | What is Youth Poet Laureate? & Youth Poet Laureate Featured Poet– TravisT, Ittai Wong, Camea Davis & Faye Harrison
  • Mar 3, 2021 | Power of the Youth Poet Laureate & Youth Poet Laureate Featured Poet (Submission Window Opens), TravisT, Ittai Wong, Camea Davis & YPL Guest
  • Mar 10, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: NĀNĀ I KE KUMU (Look to the Source) / Place– TravisT, Ittai Wong
  • Mar 17, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: The Workshop as a Pu‘uhonua– TravisT, Ittai Wong
  • Mar 24, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: NĀNĀ I KE KUMU (Look to the Source) / Praxis – (Submit YPL Applications During Workshop)– TravisT & Ittai Wong
  • Mar 31, 2021 | The Future of the Youth Poet Laureate– TravisT, Ittai Wong, Camea Davis, Alexandra Huynh
  • Apr 7, 2021 | Pacific Poetry: Practicing Haku Mele– TravisT, Ittai Wong
  • Apr 14, 2021 | Pacific Performance & Community: Rehearsal for the Show, TravisT, Ittai Wong

Featured Presenter Biographies

Camea Davis

Director of the Youth Poet Laureate Program

Camea Davis, PhD is a poet-researcher and teacher educator with a doctorate in critical educational policy studies from Ball State University. She has extensive experience conducting research on educational equity in urban teacher residency programs and culturally responsive teaching practices. Davis is also the National Network Director for the Youth Poet Laureate program, a program of Urban Word, an award-winning literary arts organization committed to social justice and civic engagement.

Travis Thompson

Pacific Tongues, Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi

Travis Kaululāʻau Thompson Born and raised in Kalihi, Honolulu, Oʻahu; Travis T. is a nationally ranked slam poet, spoken word artist, educator, pet owner, and professional Teaching Artist for the MACC. Currently pursuing his MA at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa; his research focuses on Polynesian oral traditions and looks at contemporary Hawaiian spoken word poetry as cultural social praxis. He is a cofounder of Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi, Pacific Tongues, and the HI Poets Society; and also worked for three years as a raw vegan chef.

Ittai Wong

Pacific Tongues, Le Jardin Academy

Ittai Wong is a Hapa Hawaiian polymath. This multidisciplinary artist, writer, and educator is a published poet and two-time international grand slam champion, featured on the HBO documentary series, Brave New Voices. His art has been exhibited in galleries and museums from Hawaiʻi to Wisconsin. His poetry has been performed globally from Saipan to New Zealand and across the US from Broadway to the Bay. A Kailua native, he received a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin as a recipient of the full tuition First Wave Hip-Hop Theatre Ensemble Scholarship. Ittai currently lives and works in Kailua as the MYP1 Language & Literature teacher at Le Jardin Academy, while pursuing a Master’s in Education at the University of Hawaiʻi.

Faye Harrison

20-21 Youth Poet Laureate, Ann Arbor/Ypsi

Ann Arbor born and raised, Faye Harrison is the 2020-2021 Ann Arbor/Ypsi Youth Poet Laureate, a program supported by Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone. Faye is a high school dropout, recovering addict and sexual assault survivor- inspired by these experiences, Faye engages in arts advocacy work around these issues. Faye was the 2018 Ann Arbor/Ypsi youth slam champion and has represented her city on the slam team for the last two years.

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