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WHAM (What’s Happen’n Arts Movement) Community Arts Center in Surprise, AZ is once again expanding its Literary Arts Program and has selected Nathaniel George as the inaugural Maricopa County Youth Poet Laureate.


Nathaniel’s talent as a poet, his passion for poetry and literary education, and his leadership have been instrumental in revitalizing the MCYPL Program. Throughout his 2023-2024 term, Nathaniel will advocate for greater representation of youth in literary arts and build a diverse catalog of MCYPL Program opportunities to encourage all interested youth poets across the Phoenix Metropolitan Area to apply, regardless of geographic location.

Nathaniel is a current senior at Brophy College Preparatory who was first introduced to the world of creative writing through the Percy Jackson novel series as a child. He soon discovered and fell in love with poetry through the incredible work of poets like Audre Lorde, Alok Menon, Ntozake Shange, and Ocean Vuong. He has submitted his poetry to contests such as the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award, MONO Poetry Prize, Bowseat Poetry Contest, Poetry Nation Contest, Rattle Weekly Poetry Prize, and
more, and has been featured in the Tempe Writers.

Opportunities for Maricopa County Youth Poet Laureates will span the entire metropolitan Phoenix area and West Valley, working with the Phoenix Arts and Culture, Surprise Arts and Culture, Peoria Arts and Culture, Buckeye Arts and Culture, Glendale Arts and Culture, Avondale Arts and Culture, Goodyear Arts and Culture, High School Districts, and other local arts organizations.

WHAM will be accepting applications from youth poets in the spring of 2024 for the 2024-2025 Maricopa County Youth Poet Laureate Program. Applicants must be ages 14-18 and reside within Maricopa County. More details on MCYPL applications will be on WHAM’s website soon.

The official induction of Nathaniel will be on the same night as the monthly Write Club, on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm at WHAM Galleries.

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