Moira Flath, of Jamestown, was Rhode Island’s first ever Youth Poetry Ambassador!
Moira Flath was born in Yonkers, New York and moved to Jamestown, Rhode Island at the age of ten. She has always fostered a love of poetry, and first got involved through spoken word competitions over four years ago. Moira is currently a senior at North Kingstown High School, and plans to attend the University of Delaware in the fall.
Moira says, “I am thrilled to have been chosen as Youth Poetry Ambassador of our beautiful state. I look forward to working with artists and young people alike, and I hope to be able to inspire others to get involved, and find a voice in poetry–a place where I have found mine!”
Judges Tina Cane, Sussy Santana, and Sawako Nakayasu also selected Kiani Sincere-Pope, of the Met School in Providence, to serve as Deputy Youth Poetry Ambassador. The Deputy Youth Poetry Ambassador will serve as an in-state advocate when Moira goes to college in the fall. Moira will retain her title and will perform her role from afar, while Kiani assumes any responsibilities that require an in-state presence. Kiani describes herself as:
More commonly known as Kleo, I’m a 17 year-old poet from Providence who attends The Met School. I’ve been writing poetry since elementary school, and doing slam poetry since freshman year. This past February, I won the title as the 2018 Youth Grand Slam Poetry champion of Providence, and in addition to writing poetry, I also dabble in other genres of writing. Last year, I was one of the 3 winners for the “Write! Rhode Island” short fiction contest, which got published in an anthology.
A launch and reading celebration took place at the State House Library on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:30pm. Moira Flath, Kiani Sincere-Pope, and finalists Adeline Berle, Yukiko Yamamoto, and Catherine Sawoski read original poems. Moira received a $250 cash prize, a guest-writer spot in the Providence Journal “Second Sunday” Poet Laureate column, a reading with other youth at a Providence Community Library branch or at another Rhode Island branch, an Instagram account to manage through which to share with RI youth visual prompts for poetry writing and poetry items of interest, the opportunity to have her poetry featured through the Poetry in Motion, RI on RIPTA busses state-wide, a trip on Providence Community Library’s Bookmobile to meet, greet and share poetry with youth from around the city, and an opportunity to record an episode for Poetry Dose, the poetry podcast produced by Atticus Allen and Tina Cane.
Kiani received a $100 cash prize, the opportunity to have her poetry featured through the Poetry in Motion, RI on RIPTA busses state-wide, an opportunity to read with other youth at a Providence Community Library branch or at another Rhode Island branch, and an opportunity to record an episode for Poetry Dose, the poetry podcast produced by Atticus Allen and Tina Cane.
Rhode Island Center for the Book and Poet Laureate Tina Cane Announce RI Youth Poetry Ambassador Initiative 2018
Rhode Island Poet Laureate, Tina Cane, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book are partnering to launch the Rhode Island Youth Poetry Ambassador initiative. This program will establish a youth poetry advocate position to be filled by a high school student (grades 9-12) who lives in Rhode Island. The 2018 application period takes place between January 2nd and February 1st.
This initiative is designed to bring more poetry directly to our state’s youth and to inspire young people through example. Just as the State Poet Laureate position affirms Rhode Island’s support of poetry, the Youth Poetry Ambassador is meant to validate and support the creative potential of our young people.