Celebrating our new Salinas Youth Poet Laureates

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April 30, 2021

Salinas Public Library and the Friends of the Salinas Public Library (FOSPL) were pleased to acknowledge and present the prizes to the winners of the recent Salinas Youth Poet Laureate contest on Thursday, April 29th at the John Steinbeck Library.  

Deputy Librarian, Mila Rianto and Ken Allen, President of FOSPL, presented the cash scholarship award of $300 to Kenya Burton, Salinas' new Youth Poet Laureate, along with a plaque signed by the Salinas City Council.  Kenya expressed how the award belongs as much to her as it does her family and her mother who raised her as a single parent. Kenya is a twenty-year old Salinas native who has won other awards for her poetry, and made multiple presentations sharing her poems.  

Micheal Ndubisi, the runner-up, was presented with a metal and a plaque signed by the Salinas City Council.  Michael shared how being selected solidified his connection to Salinas and made him feel truly welcome in his new community.  Michael moved to Salinas two years ago from Southern California.  

The first prize cash scholarship was provided by FOSPL, a nonprofit organization of volunteers that works to provide supplemental funding for library programs and services. We look forward to having both poets involved in programs and projects that promote poetry and the arts in the upcoming year.  For more information about this program, click here or contact Ernesto Lizaola, Community Education Manager, at (831) 758-7229.