Philadelphia is one of just a few cities to have a poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez.
In 2011 Mayor Michael Nutter announced the Poet Laureate program and Sanchez was chosen as our first.
Sanchez, a poet, activist and scholar, taught English and Women’s Studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of the Robert Frost Medal and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award and has penned 16 books. She’s an honored and respected poet and she was given the privilege of choosing the city’s latest laureate. Not as her replacement, but as her protégé.
According to CBS3, dozens of area students were nominated for the youth laureate opportunity, and in the end Sanchez couldn’t pick just one.
Masterman freshman Siduri Beckman, and Creative and Performing Arts junior Jaya Montague were chosen as a pair to be Philadelphia’s first youth poet laureates.
“These two young sisters can come with me and travel with me and read and learn,” said Sanchez.