Incoming first-year student named National Youth Poet Laureate

Incoming first-year student ALEXANDRA HUYNH of Sacramento, California, has been named the 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate by Urban Word, the New York-based organization that runs the National Youth Poet Laureate program and The Kennedy Center.

Alexandra Huynh
Alexandra Huynh (Photo courtesy of Urban Word/National Youth Poet Laureate Program)

As the 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate, Huynh will serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States using poetry as a platform for the literary arts and civic engagement.

Huynh will represent the National Youth Poet Laureate program and the national youth literary arts community through a series of performances and civic engagements through May 2022. Prior to being named the 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate, Huynh served as the Western Regional Ambassador for the United States.

A second-generation Vietnamese American, Huynh uses poetry as a tool of self-reclamation and social justice for marginalized communities, according to a press release from Urban Word.

This fall, as a first-year student at Stanford, Huynh aims to combine her passions for creative writing, science and civic engagement.

“I spend a lot of time in my head, so poetry is for me a sort of survival mechanism,” Huynh told USA Today. “I wouldn’t be able to move through the world with the same amount of clarity had I not worked it out first on the page.”

Huynh was selected from amongst four regional finalists. The previous National Youth Poet Laureate was Amanda Gorman, who became an international celebrity after reading at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Learn more on the Urban Word website.