Sophie Kim ’19 was selected as the 2018 Los Angeles Country Youth Poet Laureate from a record number of applicants. Over the course of the next year, Kim will also work with Penmanship Books to publish a compilation of her original poetry.
The Youth Poet Laureate is an initiative of Urban Word Los Angeles, an organization focused on youth literary arts and development. The award is presented to a youth poet based on literary talent, social justice involvement, and leadership.
“It’s exciting to be recognized for my activism in conjunction with art,” Kim said. “Exploring these themes through different media is very important to me, and I’m excited to have more opportunities to do it. At times, social justice can be exhausting or frustrating, so I love using art as a means of distilling themes of love, identity, unity, and other ideas that are tied to social justice.”
Kim also currently serves as the President of GSA at school. She said much of her poetry explores what it means to be an LBGTQ person.
“It’s sometimes very hard to find yourself, and poetry can be a way of doing that,” Kim said. “I write and perform so that somebody will feel listened to, and I think that when you can have that moment of truth, that’s poetry. With each poem, I want to reach more people. To bring them into this amazing space where we all belong to something intangible and important.”
Kim will appear and perform with multiple literary organizations in the coming year.
“I’ve been writing forever, and I’m also eager to meet other amazing writers by being an ambassador for Los Angeles,” Kim said. “However, I’m most excited to tap into ideas and experiences that I might not have written about before, or in the capacity I wanted to. I was so impressed and humbled by the other candidates’ poems, and being part of the selection process reminded me how incredible and important it is to use our art to share our experiences and reach out to others, even if it is difficult.”