Best Up-and-Coming Poet: Hannah Sawyerr

Morgan State University junior Hannah Sawyerr must have learned early the old poetic trick of luring in listeners before springing the trap of poetry that leaves a mark. The Baltimore Youth Poet Laureate became the first woman to take on the position this winter at a competition in which she delivered a poem that begins as an ode to a Sunday dress before making a hard turn toward contemplations on faith and sexual assault. Sawyerr is now making the most of her year in the role, both as an artist and an advocate; not only has she performed as a featured reader for countless events, but she has used this newfound platform to speak about issues that matter to girls and women of color.

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