Apply to become Toronto’s first Youth Poet Laureate. Applications are due by June 10 at 11:59 p.m.


Toronto’s Youth Poet Laureate program honours a writer or spoken-word artist 16 to 27 years old, who has written on themes relevant to the city. They will serve as a literary ambassador for youth in Toronto. They will advocate for poetry, language and the arts by inspiring and engaging youth to share their stories through written and spoken word.

Initiated by the Toronto Youth Cabinet with enthusiastic support from the city’s seventh Poet Laureate, Lillian Allen, the inaugural program is launching as part of this year’s Youth Week Toronto.

Candidates must be:

  • 16 to 27 years old as of May 1, 2024
  • A resident of Toronto
  • Willing to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the position as outlined below in the Terms of Reference

Submission Requirements

  • Resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • At least three original pieces of work. One should be an audio or video recording (MP4) less than five minutes long
  • Two letters of reference that speak to the poet’s abilities
  • Letter of intent (500 words maximum) detailing:
      • How the poet would advocate for youth, poetry and literary arts, representing the City of Toronto as an ambassador
      • Ideas or a proposal for an event or project to promote poetry, the literary arts and elevate the voices of young writers
      • How the poet would engage with Toronto’s literary community to raise the visibility of youth, literacy, poetry and spoken word
      • Why the poet is interested in being the Youth Poet Laureate and how the poet would benefit from this opportunity

    Selection Process

    The appointment will be decided by a selection committee consisting of the current Toronto Poet Laureate, two representatives from the Toronto Youth Cabinet, one representative from the Toronto Public Library and one youth representative from the Toronto literary community.

    The City of Toronto is committed to creating opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black and equity-deserving artists, including racialized persons, persons with disabilities, members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities and newcomers.

    Submissions will be reviewed using the following criteria:

    • The candidate demonstrates impactful contributions to poetry and literary arts in Toronto, particularly within youth communities
    • The candidate displays a strong commitment and genuine passion for community engagement, with a well-articulated and impactful plan for involving young people in poetry and literary arts initiatives
    • The candidate produces poetry with strong artistic merit, showcasing creativity, depth and skill.

    Email submissions to no later than June 10, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

    The honourary Youth Poet Laureate position will serve to recognize a young poet (16 to 27 years old), who writes excellent poetry or spoken word and has written on themes that are relevant to residents in the City of Toronto.

    The role of the Youth Poet Laureate is to serve as a literary ambassador for youth in the City of Toronto. The poet will act as an advocate and elevate the status of poetry, language, arts and young writers by inspiring and engaging youth to share their stories through written and spoken word.

    The Youth Poet Laureate will enjoy a collaborative relationship with the Toronto Youth Cabinet, the City of Toronto’s official youth advocacy body, as well as be invited to attend municipal events to share works and increase engagement of youth with the arts.


    • Serve as an advocate and ambassador for youth, poetry, literary arts and elevate the voices of young writers
    • Create artistic work that reflects the values and identity of Toronto’s young people
    • Perform poetry readings during at least one City Council meeting, at least one Toronto Youth Cabinet event and at least one official City of Toronto function
    • Attend a variety of civic events across the City to promote and attract young people to the literary world
    • Collaborate with Toronto Public Library to support and enhance their youth literary arts programs
    • Participate in the literary life of the City to raise the visibility of youth, literacy, poetry and spoken word
    • Be willing to be mentored by the Poet Laureate during their shared terms.


    The Youth Poet Laureate will serve a term of two years for which they will receive an honorarium of $5,000 per year.