Announcing Literary Festival 2019!

Poetic Youth’s third annual Literary Festival will take place on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at San Diego State University’s Student Union in Templo Mayor room 231

Too excited to read more? Register here (It’s FREE)!

Throughout the year, our volunteers go out into San Diego schools and community centers with boxfuls of pens, notebooks, paper, poetry, and markers (lots and lots of markers!). Once a year, we invite all of the students involved in our year-round programming to come to SDSU and celebrate their creative voices together with the other young poets, undergraduates, graduate students, university faculty, prominent poets, published writers, and community members that, together, make up Poetic Youth.

As part of our mission to bridge the gap between San Diego’s under-served youth and the highest quality arts education, the Literary Festival is our annual opportunity to connect youth with the wealth of resources at the university. SDSU is home to Poetry International, one of the oldest and most respected literary journals in the global literary community. This unique relationship enables us provide small-group workshops with acclaimed poets and writers. Furthermore, hosting youth at SDSU is one way to help future first-generation college students develop a sense of identity, belonging, and ownership on the university campus.

The Literary Festival comprises a variety of opportunities for poets at every stage of their creative development to engage with the craft and each other.


The heart of the festival is connecting youth directly with prominent living writers. Attendees get to learn from and write with the best of the best. This year’s guest artists are Safia Elhillo and Fatimah Asghar!

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and a 2018 Arab American Book Award, and the chapbook The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles (2012). In 2018, Elhillo was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Fatimah Asghar is a nationally touring poet, screenwriter, educator and performer. Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color.

Book Fair

Every year, Poetic Youth collects donated books to stock the book fair shelves. Youth may take home as many books as they can carry, and it’s absolutely free. The book fair offers everything from classics to comics and much more.

Get Published

Everyone who participates in the festival has the opportunity to submit their work for publication in the festival anthology. San Diego youth get to see their work in print, sharing spreads with poets who make a living by writing. Every attendee gets to take home an anthology for free.

Open Mic

All attendees are invited to share the mic with Safia and Fatimah in an end-of-festival reading. Many participants choose to read work they wrote that very day, and others come prepared with beloved poems they’ve been waiting to share.

Lunch Provided

Poetic Youth is dedicated to eliminating the barriers between passionate young poets and artistic mentorship. That is why the Literary Festival is absolutely free, including lunch. This would not be possible without the generous support of the Associated Students, Student Success Free Academically Related Programs funding, and the countless hours donated by our dedicated volunteers. Thank you!

See You There!

The festival will take place in the Templo Mayor room on the second floor of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, highlighted in yellow on the map below. Guests may park in the structure labeled 6 on the map below (now called PS3) for $3/hour or $15/all day and walk across the pedestrian bridge straight into the student union. The MTS Trolley Green Line stops in the center of SDSU and is $2.50 one-way or $5 all day. The closest park-and-ride stops are 70th Street to the east and Grantville to the west. Feel free to share Our Flyer and direct any questions to Don’t forget to register here!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.