Harpeth Hall student named Nashville's Youth Poet Laureate

Harpeth Hall student named Nashville's Youth Poet Laureate

Haviland Whiting, Harpeth Hall Class of 2020, was selected as the fourth Nashville Youth Poet Laureate at the 10th annual State of the Word poetry showcase held on Saturday, December 16 at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music.

Whiting earned this distinction at the State of the Word poetry showcase which featured the region's top college and high school writers, poets, emcees and spoken-word artists. As part of the showcase, Whiting was one of four Nashville young adults who performed for a panel of judges.

"I am so incredibly honored to be Nashville's Youth Poet Laureate," Whiting said. "The ability to have my voice heard and to be given such a platform is a gift, and I intend to spread awareness to everyday injustices. Southern Word has also offered me a book deal with Penmanship press, so I'm looking forward to being able to archive my poems!"

About the Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Program

The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of the Office of the Mayor, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Urban Word and Southern Word. The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, diversity and tolerance, and youth voice across Nashville.

About Southern Word

Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and to their lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities. Southern Word is committed to providing youth, especially in underserved communities, with as many opportunities as possible to develop and publicly present their voices both live and in print, video, audio, and digital media.

All State of the Word performers come from Southern Word's programs, which are sponsored by the Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Memorial Foundation, Humanities Tennessee, Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Foundation, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Congratulations Hav! We are deeply inspired by your courage to share your talent. This is a well-deserved accomplishment and distinction. You make Harpeth Hall very proud!

NOTE, Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Finalists included the following students: Airis Aaron, Hume Fogg Academic Magnet; Monserrat Escobar Arteaga, Martin Luther King Magnet; Ibrahim Mohyuddin, Martin Luther King Magnet; Haviland Whiting, Harpeth Hall.

Caroline Spindel '19 and Haviland Whiting '20 both performed at the Poetry Slam event on Saturday.


Whiting with her proud parents.