Zoya Ahmed, an incoming senior at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, has been named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. Nonprofit organization California Poets in Schools and Phyllis Meshulam, current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, spearheaded the historical selection, and a local panel of poets and literary experts chose Ahmed from an esteemed pool of local student applicants.
Following in the footsteps of other California counties such as Alameda and Los Angeles counties, Sonoma County’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate search began in March and aimed to recognize a local student who “achieved excellence in poetry” and who showed commitment to the arts through writing and engagement in clubs or afterschool activities.
The panel of judges tasked with selecting the youth poet laureate included Meshulam, outgoing Poet Laureate of Sonoma County Maya Khosla and other county poets and teachers.
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