Lafayette Freshman Tapped as First Lexington Youth Poet Laureate
A 14-year-old student at Lafayette High School, Olaoluwakiitan (Kiitan) Adedeji, is Lexington’s inaugural youth poet laureate. Kiitan and three other finalists presented their work for judging Dec. 3 at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. “(She) was chosen for her community activism and her distinctive and unique poetic voice. She will ably represent the perspective of the youth in our city,” said Jamari Turner, coordinator of the Lexington Youth Poet Laureate Program.
“I have found that one of the best ways to capture my experiences is through poetry,” Kiitan said. “By reading other black Kentucky poets like Crystal Wilkinson and Bernard Clay, I can set a standard for how I want to use poetry to express my identity. With poetry, I can find the heart of something, and with each poem, I can discover something new within my black experience.”
The other finalists – Aileen Khosravi of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and Lafayette’s Lillian Bramble and Sophie Watson – will serve as ambassadors to Lexington’s historic and vibrant cultures of poetry and literature, helping to promote local writers and the transformative qualities of the written word.
Contact: Jamari Turner, youth outreach and programming director at the Carnegie Center, (859) 254-4175, ext. 28