Masters junior named Westchester County Youth Poet Laureate


Aurora Rose Horn, Lead Copy Editor

Masters’ own Alexa Murphy ’24, who happens to be a News Editor for Tower, has been named Youth Poet Laureate of Westchester County. Murphy is honored to have been given this opportunity to share poetry with others in the county. “I think my love and passion for poetry was what motivated me to apply,” she said. She also spoke of her “desire to give back to a community that has done so much for me, and this understanding that I am so deeply fortunate to have had access to literature all my life.  Poetry has been such a deeply formative part of my life, and if I can do something to make that part of me which is so important more accessible to other people, then I’m gonna take that opportunity and take it as an honor.”


Murphy has always loved poetry; from a young age, her mother introduced her to many important authors. “My mom is not someone who reads a lot of poetry except for mine,” Murphy said, “but she is just this avid reader, and I respect her so much for it. It’s kind of just been her and I having this connection via the literature we read, because it’s such an important part of both of our lives, and so that’s kind of where that came about.”  


About her lifelong love of poetry, Murphy said,  “I think there was always this understanding that it was a very beautiful and delicate and unique form of art.” She cited her membership of Outspoken, Masters’ spoken-word poetry club, as what pushed this passion for poetry further. She said, “It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I tried out to join Outspoken, and that kind of threw me headfirst into this poetry scene that I hadn’t been aware of.” Murphy continued, “The first showcase, last year, I had presented a poem called ‘The Women Poem,’ and I had never been prouder of myself for anything else. It was just so well-received; I had people coming up to me and telling me how much it meant to them. That feeling, that I created something that could really resonate with people– and resonate with people for a long time, because I still hear feedback about that poem that I presented last year– was what made me fall in love with poetry all the more, and what made me realize how important it was to make it something that can reach everyone.”


Murphy also shared what this position meant to her. “To be real, a position like poet laureate is largely symbolic– the county made it to show that they were invested in the arts, and they made the youth position to show that they were invested in the youth’s accessibility to the arts– but to me, it means so much more. It means that I get to go out and take what I’ve learned about an art that I’m so deeply passionate about and turn it into something more tangible, like going to schools and doing workshops, or creating databases for people to learn more about poetry and literature and film. It’s a position that is very expansive, and so I’m doing what I can with it. In short, it means a lot to me to be able to make something real out of a symbolic position.”