Summer 2024 /Global Pomona/

National Youth Poet Laureate Finalist

Zoe Dorado ’27

Zoe Dorado ’27 traveled to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April and performed as a finalist for National Youth Poet Laureate, a role once held by Amanda Gorman, who read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Dorado, representing the Western U.S., took the stage alongside three other finalists and was named the runner-up to 2024 honoree Stephanie Pacheco of New York.

Dorado began her writing journey in her hometown of Castro Valley, California. At Pomona, she plans on majoring in English and is exploring a possible double major. Asked how her poetry and social activism are related, Dorado says poetry is humanizing.

“Especially when there’s a lot of grief in the world, we go into direct action,” she says. “But we also need to take the time to grieve and sit with ourselves in order to fully show up for ourselves and for the people in and beyond our communities. Poetry gives us space to do that. I don’t think poetry will save the world. But it will help us reckon with it.”