Camryn Bruno is 2019’s NYC Youth Poet Laureate. Photo Credit: Camryn Bruno.
Camryn Bruno, a York College Sophomore, was named 2019’s New York City Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) on Nov. 5.
Bruno, who is majoring in communications technology, read her poem titled Politics Bite during the competition. The poem compares politics to animals and insects that bite and urges others to go out and vote if they can because if they don’t then the policies implemented when they didn’t vote will come back to “bite” them.
As the new YPL Bruno will be given a platform to read her poems and touch upon issues she sees as relevant in today’s society. She will also receive a deal to publish all her poems into a book.
Pandora’s Box (PB): How did it feel to be named the 2019 NYC Youth Poet Laureate? Like what was going through your mind as your name was called and after?
Camryn Bruno (CB): I must say it was an honor to be named the NYC YPL. I was so shocked when I heard my name. The hosts Roya Marsh and Jon Sands were announcing the Youth Poet Laureate Ambassadors and I was prepared to hear my name then and to applaud the winner. Everyone was laughing at me because I was doubting them- and then my name was called for the NYC YPL. I started laughing uncontrollably because I couldn’t believe it was me. It took me a while (a few days) to wake up from the dream that was reality and accept the title to prepare myself for what is to come.
PB: With being named the 2019 YPL what are some of the benefits that come with the title? (I heard that you will also be getting a book deal as part of the program so congratulations on that!)
CB: With being the NYC YPL, It comes with having the most prestigious political arts position as a young poet and an ambassador for the arts and cultural community in NYC. I have the opportunity to receive endless resources and support from Urban Word NYC and NYC Votes to publish my first manuscript of poetry, and I get to have various performing and speaking opportunities around the city.
PB: What are you most looking forward to in 2019 as the YPL? What do you hope to accomplish?
CB: I’m looking forward to impacting the lives of more youth in NYC (and beyond) as well as the installation of my mural in collaboration with Community Word Project. I think anything I put my mind to that I can achieve this year is an accomplishment- the reward of continuous hard work!
Bruno, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, has been writing and performing poetry and spoken word for more than four years after she got her start writing poetry when she joined a community development program.
Before winning the title of 2019’s YPL Bruno participated in Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival, was chosen to be the Feature Presenter at the We Day celebration in Trinidad and Tobago and was the 2018 St. Kitts and Nevis Culturama Festival featured poet.