The Madison Arts Commission, along with Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez, selected Maliha Nu’Man to serve as the City’s second Youth Poet Laureate.

During a ceremony earlier this month at Pinney Library, the City of Madison, the Madison Arts Commission, and Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez celebrated the accomplishments of Madeleine Bohn, who served as Madison’s first Youth Poet Laureate. Afterwards, Trudell Vasquez publically announced and welcomed Maliha Nu’Man as the second Madison Youth Poet Laureate.

Nick Pjevach, Chair of the Madison Arts Commission, stated, “I look forward to Maliha using the art form of poetry to give voice to the hopes and dreams of young people in our community.” He added, “I want to again recognize and thank Angela Trudell Vasquez for her passion in making this program a reality.”

Maliha Nu’Man will enter her sophomore year at West High School this fall. She shares she has always had a love for writing: more specifically, poetry growing up. At aged 14, Nu’Man self-published her first book, Photograph, which can be found on Amazon. She worked with Madison’s Youth Poet Laureate Cohort, guided by Angela Trudell Vasquez from 2022-23, which helped her grow poetry skills. When she isn’t writing, Nu’Man is part of multiple clubs at her high school, including Sifting and Winnowing a civic engagement club and student council. Nu’Man has shared her poetry with the Madison Public Library through UW - Madison and her school. Nu’Man hopes to expand her writing and work with people who may help her reach her goal and contribute to her love for something so beautiful. Nu’Man says “I am excited to expand on the opportunities this position provides me.”

The Madison Youth Poet Laureate program is a partnership between the City of Madison and the National Youth Poet Laureate program, an initiative of Urban Word. The National Youth Poet Laureate program honors talented poets between the ages 13-19. and provides for competitive opportunities for young people to showcase their literary art on the regional and national stage.

Madison Poet Laureate, Angela Trudell Vasquez, established the Youth Poet Laureate program in Madison in 2022, and has been leading a cohort of the applicants over the year, helping them to edit and develop their poems, and find companionship in the art. She says, “I have spent the last year mentoring the YPL cohort. Watching them encourage each other during our free write sessions, sharing craft and editing tips with them, and seeing their writing, editing and performance skills grow has been a wonderful experience. I am so happy for the young poets in this city to have this opportunity, and am so thankful to all who made it happen."

Over the course of her year of service as the Madison Youth Poet Laureate, Maliha will give three public readings alongside Trudell Vasquez, including a reading before the Madison Common Council at their September 5, 2023 meeting. Additionally, she will have the opportunity to apply for the National Youth Poet Laureate role in the fall.

About the National Youth Poet Laureate Program
The National Youth Poet Laureate Program works with local arts organization across the United States to elevate youth voices that are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement and social impact. The National Youth Poet Laureate Program is supported by the academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Parks Service, and many more, and is an initiative of Urban Word NYC, Inc., an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization.

About the Madison Arts Commission
The Madison Arts Commission’s (MAC) is an 11-member citizen commission appointed by the Mayor to advise the City about matters of arts and culture. MAC’s mission is to foster arts appreciation by initiating partnerships, developing new audiences, and sponsoring diverse artistic activities by emerging and established artists and arts organizations while preserving Madison’s rich artistic tradition. To support a full creative life for all, The Madison Arts Commission commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable city.