Samuel Getachew was named the 2019 Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, CA and primarily has been recognized for his poetry: spoken word, which he has performed in slams. His poetry has been featured on NPR, KTVU, KQED, and other venues.

Because he is an emerging youth artist, there is not a detailed biography available on Samuel, but it appears that he was born and raised in Oakland. Much of his poetry addresses the beauty and struggles of Oakland and particularly black boyhood and coming of age in Oakland.

Samuel graduated from Oakland Technical High School. He has been involved in Youth Speaks, a youth agency that empowers and trains youth poets.

In 2017, Samuel was part of the Brave New Voices Festival, the largest youth poetry festival in the world, where his team ranked among the top 8 in the world. He won the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and was named the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, as also mentioned previously.


  • Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612. Samuel grew up reading in branches of the Library. Now, as the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, he participates in public events and readings hosted by the Library, the Oakland Museum, etc.
  • Youth Speaks. A national organization headquartered in San Francisco, with great influence in the Bay Area, Youth Speaks trains youth across the Bay in spoken word and other types of poetry, conducting workshops in schools and in partnerships with local organizations.
  • Oakland Technical High School, 4351 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611.

~ by Michal Jones ~

External Links:

Artist website –

Poem (2019) – “Lake”

Poem (2018) – “Flight”

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