May 2024

Santa Cruz County Youth Poet Laureate Announced

Santa Cruz County’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate honor was given to Dina Lusztig Noyes at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA. SC County Youth Poet Laureate finalists include Gregory Souza, Simon Ellefson, Madeline Aliah, and Sylvi Kayser. During the inauguration ceremony, each youth poet performed several of their poems, demonstrating their unique voices and talents. The cohort will continue to be a team of artistic excellence and community engagement through poetry work.

Some members of the cohort will be reading their poetry at the Scotts Valley Multicultural Fair on May 4.

Dina Lusztig Noyes will be Community Writers’ featured reader in-person on Sept. 28 from 2:30-4:30pm at the Porter Memorial Library in Soquel.

Applicants submitted five original poems and a resumé. All finalists received a $100 cash honorarium and the Youth Poet Laureate received $500. All finalists also received a gift card donated by Two Birds Books.

“I was delighted by the caliber and passion of all our applicants this inaugural year, and I’m especially gratified that we were able to name these five youth poets as our cohort.” said Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatemi, who facilitated the development of the Youth Poet Laureate program. “It is clear they have each found ways to use poetry to make their own lives more meaningful, and that they will serve, in individual ways, to support their peers and our broader community. I’m so excited to see how that will unfold. I am also deeply grateful to a host of local organizations who have given or pledged support for this program as we build it.”

Dina Lusztig Noyes

Step one: question everything.
Bloody fists truthward hurl,
because your kenning
is not “dead girl”…

Step two: answer them yourself.
Blink, you’ll die, not as two.
Darling all herself
that wasn’t you

Step three: change angles.
A bullet’s war will grow
boy to man, mangled,
not boy to girl: so
burn me.

Step four: understand your want.
You are mannequin: broken toy.
Hope not yourself to haunt.
Do not ridicule the boy
turned she.

Step five: begin, self actualize.
Repair damage self inflicted,
but not self galvanized.
You were addicted.
Heart attack.

Step six: you are bulletproof.
Circular logic, how clever.
But, not weather proof.
Not forever.
You fall back.

Step seven: question everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *