SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento native and incoming first-year student at Stanford University has been named the new National Youth Poet Laureate.
Alexandra Huynh, 18, is a second-generation Vietnamese American from Sacramento, California, who sees poetry both as a means to self-expression and social justice.
"I'm so proud and honored to represent Sacramento," Huynh said in a conversation with ABC10 last January.
Just becoming a finalist for the competition is no easy feat. There is a pretty rigorous application process including a small portfolio of work and a resume/CV. Special emphasis is put on civic engagement and giving back to the community, according to Huynh.
WATCH MORE: Alexandra Huynh on Your California Life. Alexandra is Stanford-bound and employs poetry as a tool of self-reclamation and social justice for marginalized communities.
Huynh was selected from among four regional finalists for a position first held by Amanda Gorman, who read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
"It's incredible," Huynh said. "I remember on the day of the Inauguration when she was performing, so many of…people who are really dear to me, texted me and they were like, you know, that could be you in a couple of years! And having her be there and holding that place and showing that young women of color have a place in our country's narrative was incredibly important to me."
She will serve for one year, working with arts organizations around the country.
Established in 2017, the national youth poet laureate program is an initiative of the literary arts and development organization Urban Word.
“This is the densest find of vertebrates in California since the La Brea Tar Pits,” explained Professor Todd Greene.