POETS, EMCEES & CREATIVE WRITERS AGES 13 TO 19, here is your springboard to launching a career in creative writing, performance poetry & community activism! We are searching for youth leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement & promoting change through the arts. We also partner with various county entities & non profits to create opportunities for our young artists. for more info, Contact us at email@example.com
WE ARE INTERNATIONAL! Here, our 2019 & 2021 Prince George's Laureates are interviewed by BBC News about The Amanda Gorman Effect
Imani West is a rising second year student at Hampton University where she majors in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is also a 2021 cohort member of Hampton’s illustrious Freddye T. Davy Honors College. Her current interests include writing poetry, filmmaking, playwriting, social justice and public policy. Over the past few years, Imani’s work has been featured in a few different publications such as poetic journals and student anthologies. Imani has also had the opportunity to recite her works in front of legends such as Nikki Giovanni and Sonya Sanchez. One of Imani’s greatest milestones of her poetry career was being commissioned by Busboys and Poets to write a poem in memory of Toni Morrison, and reciting at the Congressional Black Caucus. Imani has also always been interested in how policy currently affects people of marginalized groups such as women, the LGBTQ+ community, and minorities. Before she graduates from college, Imani’s plan is to write her own book that consists of a collection of poems from her time in school, and to put together a short film. Imani’s goal is to tell stories that inspire and uplift, while also challenging her audiences to read between lines and think beyond the literal meaning of words
DIALECT USA, LLC recognizes and celebrates the importance of the spoken, the written and the rhythmic word no matter where it originates. We realize that even though our inflections & use of language may change between age, race, gender and cultural lines, it is the sound of our VOICES that when properly harnessed, can become the most powerful tool known to humanity through shared experiences, affirmations of love, pleas for peace and declarations of being.
DIALECT OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD provides artists with the space for expression and the skills for growth as practitioners of the stage arts. We understand that for many, a simple opportunity is the much needed bridge that can lead to success, and so we provide not only basic training in these areas, but we partner with additional County organizations in creating avenues & windows that will assist in cultivating full-fledged careers in the arts for both youth and for young adults.
SAINEY IN ACTION!
HER YEAR SO FAR: Our 2022 YPL Imani West hasn't wasted any time during the first half of her laureateship, touching hearts & minds everywhere from community centers to the Kennedy Center! Her soft-spoken yet magnetic performances have inspired hundreds across the DMV, even earning herself a place at The White House! Way to go, Imani!
THE YOUNG POETS were especially interested in Montpelier's "Hidden Spaces" presentation, which explores the side entrances, passageways & sleeping areas for the enslaved which were tucked away throughout the mansion.
WE ALSO LEARNED the stories of resilience & resistance from our people - We learned at every year, there were at least 30 instances of runaway slaves from Montpelier.
AFTER EACH TOUR, everyone went exploring on their own, some sat outside in the courtyard, some stayed inside & asked questions of our guides, others walked along the trail surrounding the property - writing & reflecting.
APRIL - NATIONAL POETRY MONTH PROJECTS
SAINEY CEESAY, OUR 2021 YPL, has continued making her mark beyond her Laureateship by lending her voice for multiple virtual events & speaking engagements. She was recently commissioned to write and perform an original poem dedicated to the grand opening of the new Hyattsville Library and absolutely blew everyone away! Everyone loved her poem so much that after her standing ovation, the PGCMLS official asked for a copy of the poem to frame in the Library's front entrance - now THAT'S how to leave an impression!
PRINCE GEORGE'S POETS
CONGRATULATIONS ALSO TO OUR NEW YOUTH POET AMBASSADORS
DEAUN COLEMAN – Hyattsville
JORDAN CULMER – District Heights
SANAI EATON-MARTINEZ – Upper Marlboro
DEJA EPPS - Upper Marlboro
MUNTAHA HOSSAIN - Beltsville
DEMARI KLINE – Upper Marlboro
KHADIJAH MUHAMMAD – New Carrollton
KEENASHAE PENNICOOKE - Laurel
ISHA SESAY - Lanham
AZEEM SHAIKH – College Park
NOW THE WORK BEGINS as our YPL & Ambassadors begin traveling the county sharing the stage with county officials at festivals, town hall meetings and other community events in need of a youth perspective. This is the first step to a professional career as a writer & public speaker - any organizations interested in booking any of our youth poets for any functions, please contact Patrick Washington at 301 237 6684 or Neville Adams at 240 426 2629
YPL PROGRAMS ARE SPROUTING EVERYWHERE! In his new role as Poetry Director for Words Beats & Life, Patrick Washington is helping to craft new Laureates for other areas outside of Prince George's County. Let's welcome these new young leaders!
Her poetry performance begins at 39:00
Sainey Ceesay (2021) Marissa Michel (2020) Mi'Jan Credle (2019) Michaela Lacy (2018) Samantha Jackson (2017) and Dominique Holder (2016)
IMANI GRACE WEST - THE 2022 PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY YOUTH POET LAUREATE
THIS SPRING, The Dialect Poets and YPL Ambassadors made several one-day residencies at two local plantations - Woodlawn Museum in northern Virginia and Montpelier House Museum in Laurel, Maryland as part of their, "Fighting Destiny Tour".
The Inaugural Arlington County, Virginia
Youth Poet Laureate
The Inaugural Montgomery County, Maryland
Youth Poet Laureate
of Prince George's County
One Youth Poet Laureate. Ten Ambassadors. Eleven youth poets who are paving the way to the future.