Skip To Main Content
Long Beach Downtown


Main Menu

Student Becomes First Youth Poet Laureate

Claire Beeli

Pictured above, Wilson High School student Claire Beeli at the Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate ceremony on Thursday, June 1. Photo by Christina Merino via Press-Telegram/SCNG.

View all poetry submissions.

Wilson High School student Claire Beeli has been named the first Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate (LBYPL) by the City of Long Beach.

As the city’s laureate, Beeli will serve as a representative for literacy, arts and youth expression. She also will receive a $1,500 scholarship along with access to mentorship and resources while engaging Long Beach youth in literary arts programming over the next year.

Beeli’s work has been recognized by national institutions such as the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the New York Times Learning Network. Her work has also been published or is forthcoming in Block Party Magazine, Polyphony Lit and Chinchilla Lit.

Beeli will be joined by four runner-up finalists, named poet ambassadors, to form the inaugural LBYPL cohort. Together, Beeli’s cohort will plan, execute and promote a citywide literary initiative that engages youth in art and activism. 

Three of the announced poet ambassadors also are from the Long Beach Unified School District. Joining Beeli’s inaugural cohort are Matilda Iem of Millikan High School; Kieran Lundy of Hughes Middle School; and Sofia Uribe of Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science. Each poet ambassador will receive a $500 scholarship to further their education. 

The LBYPL program is a collaboration between the Long Beach Public Library, the Arts Council for Long Beach and the nonprofit Urban Word NYC to serve local youth with year-round literary arts, civic engagement and performance opportunities.

The creation of the program was first proposed in 2019 by then-Councilmember Rex Richardson to “foster the artistic talents of our youth while providing a supportive platform to inspire and ignite positive social interactions through the transformative power of art,” as stated in a recent email announcement from now Mayor Richardson.

Upon the conclusion of the program’s current term, Beeli and her cohort will serve as mentors to the next LBYPL cohort.

  • 2023
  • District News
  • Featured Slide
  • High School News
  • Middle School News