Mayor Nutter and Gary Steuer, the city's chief cultural officer, will make the announcement Monday evening in City Hall.
Beckman, 14, a student at Julia R. Masterman School in Spring Garden who aspires to be a district attorney and eventually a Supreme Court justice, stood out among the 30 applicants. A six-member committee selected two finalists, and the city's first poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez, made the final decision.
An overjoyed Beckman jumped up and down when she got an emailed notification. "I'm the youth poet laureate," she said, beaming. In her new position, Beckman will be asked to develop an outreach plan to connect youth to poetry. She'll work closely with Sanchez.
Beckman already has big ideas. She hopes to hold writing festivals and poetry workshops at schools.
"I really think [poetry] can be used to help teens with issues," said Beckman, who sleeps with a pen and adhesive notes near her bed and spends her free time reading, writing short stories and doing community service.
"A lot of grown-ups don't always understand what teenagers feel. Poetry is this super-raw form of expression [in which] teenagers can talk about the issues that they face."
Over the summer, crime hit close to home for Beckman when the mother of one of her friends was mugged in her University City neighborhood. The incident inspired Beckman to write a poem and forced her to reflect about the stories she shares with her brother Bruno, 3 - some fairy tales, others harsh realities of inner-city life.
"We have so much commentary . . . and one poem can speak louder than any of these things," said Beckman's English teacher, Josh Rothstein, who nominated her and other students for the position. "Poetry allows [youth] to find creativity and their own voice."
Nutter was inspired by the youth-spoken-word movement in Philadelphia when he decided to create the poet-laureate positions, Steuer said.
"It's a great way of promoting literacy and excitement of the written and spoken word among young people," Steuer said.
Beckman will meet Sanchez for the first time Monday and will recite a poem at the announcement ceremony. She'll also receive a $1,000 stipend toward her academic career.
On Twitter: @Jan_Ransom