Southern Word celebrates 10 years of youth poetry

On December 16 at 7 p.m., Southern Word, a mentorship and workshop program for student poets, will host State of the Word, a celebration of empowerment through words and the community that words can build.

The event will feature the region’s top college and high school writers, poets, emcees, and spoken word artists in a night of Stories That Bend Us.

At the event, a panel of judges will select Nashville’s fourth Youth Poet Laureate. The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate program is a joining of the Office of the Mayor, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Southern Word, and Urban Word.

The program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, diversity, tolerance, and youth voice across Nashville. This year’s poet laureate is Gray Bulla from Nashville School of the Arts, pictured above.

The event will take place in the Ingram Hall at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. General admission tickets are $10, and student tickets are $3 with a valid student ID. Proceeds benefit Southern Word and the placement of poet mentors in Middle Tennessee’s public schools. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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